Huntingdon: Audacious Plan just what the doctor ordered

Tue 17 Oct 2017

Audacious Plan became the latest in a long line of horses to have his career revived by Dr Richard Newland after he gained his first win in more than two years at Huntingdon.

Helping horses rediscover the winning touch is something for which the Claines handler has become well known and the eight-year-old ended a barren run stretching back to April 2015 when powering to victory by 12 lengths in the 32Red Casino Handicap Hurdle.

James Couldwell, racing manager to owners, said of the 6-4 favourite: "He had completely lost his way but he was a good horse a few years ago but we knew Dr Newland can completely turn these horses around.

"From day one he looked like a nice horse and he has a little bit of class about him.

"We think he is exciting and it is great for the club to hopefully have a Saturday long-distance chaser.

"Dr Newland has got Royale Knight for the Durham National but he wants it soft and if it was good it might the door open for this lad."

That's The Deal (25-1) made the most of his vast experience when the veteran galloped his rivals into submission in the 32Red Handicap Chase.

Despite being in the twilight of his career,  the 13-year-old showed that the fire still burns brightly with an exhibition round of jumping from the front to take the extended two-mile-seven-furlong contest by nine lengths.

Trainer John Cornwall said: "Once you get him into a rhythm and he gets a good view of his fences he jumps all day long. That's his strong point. 

"He has won nine chase races and not many do that nowadays as it takes a bit of doing."

Neil King has had to bide his time with Canyon City (5-2) but his patient approach was rewarded with a length-and-a-quarter success in the 32Red Casino Novices' Hurdle.

King said: "At Warwick last time he was far too keen for his own good. I brought him at the Ascot Sales out of the Godolphin draft last December.

"It took us four months to get him jumping properly. It was probably his jumping that let him down at Warwick last time but he has learnt from that and his jumping has been good today and he will improve again."


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Although the fences at Huntingdon might not be the stiffest they still require jumping and That's The Deal looked the consummate professional with a fault-free round from the front to defy his advancing years.


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Wicked Willy does not look to have the size for fences but the quiet ride he was given by Sam Twiston-Davies proved the perfect way to give him the chance to make an impact over bigger obstacles with victory in the Chase.


John Cornwall hopes to see That's The Deal reach a double-figure tally over fences before time is called on his career, but he is not taking anything for granted.

He said: "It would be lovely if he did get to 10 but you never know when you have trained your last winner."

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