Silver Forever provided the highlight on Newbury's card on Wednesday when making it two wins from as many starts over fences in the Listed mares' chase. The seven year old missed the whole of last season but is making up for lost time and looks a natural chaser. A six lengths winner on her fencing bow at the same track last month, the Jeremy mare took the step up in grade in her stride producing some terrific jumps in the process. Having travelled powerfully, she produced a bold leap at the last and won eased down by nearly two lengths. The winning margin flattered the runner-up, the 142 rated Chilli Filli. Paul Nicholls has indicated that the mares' chase at Cheltenham in March is her ultimate target but she could head to Doncaster later this month (29th December) for a similar event over two and a half miles. The drop back in trip is unlikely to be a major inconvenience. Longer-term, she wouldn't look out of place in something like the Reynoldstown Novices' Chase at Ascot in February.
I Am Maximus got the job done at the second time of asking over hurdles when taking the two miles novice at his local track. It was Nicky Henderson's fifth win in the race during the last nine years and the Authorized gelding appreciated the return to a left-handed track having jumped that way at Exeter last time. Leading at the third last, he had to be pushed out after the final flight and was firmly on top crossing the line. There is no doubt he is a horse with a bright future but it is possible he will be at his best over further than two miles. Time will tell but to my eyes he doesn't have the wow factor of stablemates Constitution Hill and Jonbon.
Despite being beaten eleven lengths in fourth, the performance of Head Law was encouraging for the future. A bumper winner in France who was acquired for €150,000, the half-brother to Grade 2 winning novice chaser Ga Law had finished fifth on his British debut at Bangor in October. Jonjo O'Neill's four year old moved strongly for much of the race before getting tired after the second. While capable of winning a novice hurdle, he will be qualified for handicaps following one more run and is bred to stay further.
Congratulations to ValueRacingClub.co.uk following Present Value's victory at Leicester. Formerly trained by Evan Williams, the seven year old was bought for £10,000 in May and was having his first run for the syndicate in the concluding two and a half miles handicap hurdle. A half-brother to Paisley Park, he was reappearing after an absence of 223 days and running for the first time for Jamie Snowden. The Gold Well gelding was always going well under Page Fuller before being pushed out for a four and a quarter lengths win off a mark of 111. Fair play to racing manager James Couldwell who appears to have unearth another bargain for his excellent syndicate.
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