Sandown report: Midnight Tune gets back in the winning groove

Fri 16 Feb 2018

By staff

Midnight Tune returned to form to claim Grade Two honours in the Weatherbys General Stud Book Jane Seymour Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Sandown.

Anthony Honeyball's seven-year-old looked a progressive sort earlier in the season, but ran no race when sent to Ascot to tackle the high-class La Bague Au Roi, never going a yard and trailing home well beaten.

It was clear she was back on her game from an early stage and she tracked Banjo Girl for most of the contest before taking up the running under Aidan Coleman.

Sam Twiston-Davies tried to coax If You Say Run into contention and she looked to be going better until coming off the bridle between the last two flights, when she found little for pressure.

Midnight Tune, the 4-1 favourite, won by two and three-quarter lengths, with Sensulano back in third.

Coleman said: "She's a very nice mare and fair play to Anthony for getting her back as, for whatever reason, she didn't run her race last time. She had had a great season before that. She was beaten a long way at Ascot, but she's back today.

"She's very effective in that ground, it could not be soft enough for her really and going on that ground is her main asset. She stays really well and is very straightforward. The only issue going forward is getting her ground.

"Next year she'll jump a fence as she is a fine, big mare."

The result is a boost for the Honeyball yard, which lost stable star Fountains Windfall a week ago.

"It was a huge loss to everyone in the yard and I was only a minor part of that, but they've put it behind them and had a good week winners-wise. It is a yard going forward," said Coleman.

Tara Bridge put in a tenacious display from the front to claim the "Ubique" Handicap Chase.

Despite being pressed throughout the extended one-mile-seven-furlong contest by top-weight Movie Legend, the 10-year-old found plenty for pressure under Tom Cannon to repel the Lucy Wadham-trained challenger by three and a half lengths.

Winning trainer Chris Gordon said of the 11-8 scorer, who was backing up a recent success at Lingfield: "Bridger (Champion, owner) bred the horse. He wants to put him out in a field all the time and I want him in training!

"That's only his 16th race, but he has been a very sound horse. He (Champion) has been the most patient guy I know and it has paid off.

"As long as he don't try and chuck him in a field in the next couple of days, we will have some fun with him."

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