Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Two terrific novices

08-December-2023 16:53
in General
by Admin

Only four horses lined up for the inaugural running of the Grade 2 Esher Novices Chase at Sandown on Friday but it was dominated by two high quality young horses who looked destined for even bigger prizes in the future. Last season's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle winner Stay Away Fay maintained his unbeaten record over the larger obstacles with a length and a half victory over Giovinco. Paul Nicholls' runner jumped superbly and his abundance of stamina came into play once again in the homestraight as he outstayed Lucinda Russell's runner-up. Indeed, the second travelled strongly and was arguably going better approaching the Pond fence (3 out). The loose horse (The Changing Man) did neither of the principals any favours before the hometurn but Stay Away Fay responded well to Harry Cobden's urgings and pulled away on the run-in. The champion trainer is favouring a tilt at the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Novices' Chase at Ascot (17th February) en route to a return to Cheltenham the following month. It will be interesting to see where Giovinco heads next - the Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton (26th December) is likely to come too soon with the Grade 2 Hampton Novices Chase at Warwick (13th January) a more likely option. Alternatively, the former Irish pointer could drop back to two and a half miles in the Grade 2 Towton Novices Chase at Wetherby on the same afternoon. Either way, the pair are two terrific staying novice chasers.


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