Saint Calvados books Kingmaker ticket with Newbury success

Wed 17 Jan 2018

By staff

Saint Calvados looked an exciting prospect when destroying three rivals with a superb round of jumping in the Betfred Mobile Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at Newbury.

Trainer Harry Whittington will now step the five-year-old up in class, with the Grade Two Betway Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick on February 10 his likely next port of call.

Looking further ahead, the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival could be on the horizon.

The French import jumped the opposition into the ground as he followed up a course-and-distance success on his British debut 18 days earlier.

Aidan Coleman was always in control and the 5-4 favourite was never in any real danger as he sauntered home 10 lengths clear from Tree Of Liberty.

"It was excellent. I'm really pleased," said Wantage handler Whittington.

"He feels useful at home and we wanted to run him off the mark the handicappers gave him on his French runs. We wanted to see if he was well-handicapped over fences off his hurdles mark.

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"Newbury is just down the road from us and it's a big galloping track.

"He did it well the first day and came on mentally as well for the run, and he was very good today. It was probably a better race on paper and he's done it with a 4lb rise giving weight to useful rivals, so the next stop is the Kingmaker and he'll have an Arkle entry.

"We'll go on from there."

Saint Calvados was given a quote of 16-1 for the Arkle with Paddy Power.

Nicky Henderson enjoyed a one-two with Whatswrongwithyou and Ok Corral In the Betfred 'Homes Of Goals Galore' Novices' Hurdle.

The latter was sent off the 4-5 favourite but his stablemate was a solid 7-4 chance and was delivered by Nico de Boinville to make his challenge at the final flight, gaining the upper hand by three-quarters of a length with the rest of the field well beaten off.

Henderson was expected to take the Betfred TV British Stallion Studs EBF Mares' 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle with Kupatana but the 11-8 favourite ran too free in front, made a couple of errors and had to settle for fourth place.

Gary Moore's All Currencies (16-1) landed the honours in the hands of the trainer's son, Joshua, coming home four lengths clear of Lady Of Lamanver.

However, Henderson and De Boinville completed a double when Morning Vicar (5-1) made a winning debut in the bumper.

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