Edwardstone Crowned Two-Mile King!

'They should be top-level winners over hurdles this season and beyond'

A vintage Tingle Creek, with the returning Champion Chaser Shishkin and last year’s winner Greaneteen in the line-up. The good-to-soft ground at Sandown ensured they all stood their ground and the Alan King trained Edwardstone, last season’s leading UK novice chaser, proving too good for his rivals when storming home 9-lengths clear of Greaneteen.

Alan King’s Edwardstone was terrific in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown (Pic – Facebook / BBC Sport)

The race delivered with Edwardstone’s stunning come from behind victory which vindicated trainer Alan King withdrawing the eight-year-old from his intended start at

Ascot a fortnight ago due to unsuitable ground. There were no excuses from champion trainer Paul Nicholls who stated post-race that the runner-up had run his race but was beaten by a better horse on the day.

More concerning was the race run by the third placed runner, last season’s champion 2-mile chaser Shishkin. He finished a disappointing 15-lengths back. He made a slow start, was niggled along constantly by jockey Nico de Boinville and made a huge error at the Pond fence.

After all that went wrong in the Champion Chase at the end of last season and now over the weekend shows that Nicky Henderson’s brilliant two miler needs to step up in trip.

The Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham over 2 and a half miles could be his new target.

Last season’s Champion Bumper saw its form boosted even more on Saturday, with the winner Facile Vega and fifth placed Authorised Speed both winning impressively in their respective races over hurdles at Fairyhouse and Sandown.

They both enhanced their lofty reputations, and they should be top-level winners over hurdles this season and beyond. Gary Moore said the Tolworth Hurdle was likely to be Authorised Speed’s next race, while Facile Vega, already a short-priced favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, is headed for all the top novice hurdle contests.

On a wet and windy Sunday afternoon at Fairyhouse, everything was set for history, but the great mare Honeysuckle saw her unblemished record broken with a shock defeat in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle.

She had won the Group 1 contest over the previous three years, but the star mare looked as if she lacked her usual zest and emptied out after jumping the last marginally in front to finish a heart breaking third, fighting on all the way to the line.

After they cleared the last, Klassical Dream under Paul Townend and the Jack Kennedy-ridden Teahupoo pulled clear to fight out the finish.

The great mare fought on but couldn’t quicken and Teahupoo finished best to land the spoils by a neck from the Willie Mullins inmate.

It was a triumph that crowned a wonderful day for Jack Kennedy and trainer Gordon Elliott, yet a stunned silence had fallen over the 7,444 in attendance at Fairyhouse.

Regular rider Rachael Blackmore was disconsolate: “She has been incredible and it’s just disappointing that this day had to come.”

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