Tim Vaughan believes the future is bright for Explained after he inflicted a shock defeat on leading bumper horse Shutthefrontdoor at Folkestone.
The latter was unbeaten in three starts in National Hunt Flat races for Jonjo O'Neill last season, claiming Listed prizes at Ascot and Newbury, so it was no surprise to see him sent off a red-hot 1-4 favourite for his debut over obstacles.
However, he is going to have to smarten up his act quite considerably if he is to scale similar heights in this sphere, as he jumped and travelled lazily under Tony McCoy on his way to finishing a lacklustre third in the totequadpot EBF 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle. Explained (7-2), on the other hand, raced enthusiastically throughout at the head of affairs under Richard Johnson and had enough in hand after the final flight to hold off Phone Home by a length and a quarter.
"He's a horse who has done nothing wrong so far. He only won a match race at Wincanton on his debut but we then sent him to Ffos Las to win again and Richard (Johnson) got off him and said it rode a good race," said Vaughan.
"The ground was horrible on his debut over hurdles at Uttoxeter last time and he's a big lump of a horse who takes a lot of work. He has obviously come on considerably since then. He could be quite nice as two miles is definitely the minimum for him. You'd say he should go on and get two and a half and three miles.
"We'll give him three weeks, try to find something similar, hopefully win another with him and then think about stepping him up in class. Jonjo's horse probably hasn't performed on the day, but we're delighted with our horse."
Dollar Bill and Denis O'Regan ran away with the toteexacta Juvenile Maiden Hurdle, much to the surprise of trainer Nick Gifford. The 10-1 shot, carrying the colours of TV host Jeremy Kyle and his wife, was settled in midfield for much of the journey but once the pacesetters faltered, he strolled clear to come home with 33 lengths in hand over While You Wait.
Gifford told At The Races: "We're obviously delighted, but very surprised. It's very testing and tiring ground out there and this horse didn't go on it on the Flat. He's still quite a weak horse. He'd been working well at home, but I've worked him on the soft ground at home and on the all-weather and he's a much better horse on the all-weather. They make fools of you."
The James Eustace-trained Wily Fox emerged victorious after a thrilling finish to the totepool.com Handicap Hurdle. Well backed following a good second on the Flat at Newbury last month, the 7-2 joint-favourite found plenty for Paddy Brennan to get the better of main market rival Todareistodo by a neck.
Brennan said: "The hood definitely helps him. I was there (in front) a fraction soon but it was a messy race and they didn't go very quick. He came out on top, so it's good."
30 October 2014Road charts route to Royal riches
Johnson taken to hospital
Grece excels at Saint-Cloud
Hawk given Greatwood option
Royal summons for Apache
Hannon: Early speed key for Osaila
Bowe takes aim at WKD bullseye
Hootenanny 'smoking' for BC mission
Avenue roads lead to Newmarket
Shu to be kept busy
Scu sweet on Sensation Ascot raid
Murtagh succumbs to Cup charms
Dandino to stay in Australia
Glance denied Mackinnon defence
Bailey ace rules Supreme at Taunton
O'Brien hit by Magician blow
Diablo in big-race picture
Buckley raises Toast to Osborne
Pastille seeking four-timer
Conti all set for Charlie Hall
Barnes out to storm Saint-Cloud
Williams issues Buywise warning
Lynam reveals Slade stalls fears
29 October 2014Lame Magician out of Breeders' Cup
Diablo in big-race picture
Mullins enters strong Hennessy team
Damaged hock behind Estid reverse
Eckhart team rocked by injury blow
Hunt Ball makes Power play
Morgiana a T bone of contention
Kirby ponders Buttons French raid
Glance camp turn to Williams
Wohler trusts 'professional' Moore
Red alert to Cup challenge
Head targets more Mile glory
Mile hope Toronado in 'great form'
Telescope camp banking on Moore
Twiston-Davies link excites Moore
Flying third to Bob on hurdling bow
Harden to test top staying waters
Godolphin take share in Belardo
Mullins has big guns at Down Royal
Annacotty set for Kempton return
Powell and Bradley cleared
28 October 2014Fingal camp on weather watch
More injury woe for Popham
Dickin unveils Thomas gameplan
Power stalls in Flemington spin
Toast drawn nine in BC Classic
My Ambivalent passed fit by vets
Harry out to bring House down
Three and easy for ton-up Hanagan
Wood carves out Galway verdict
More Of That in Wetherby frame
Big guns confirmed for Charlie Hall
Byron pencilled in for Far East
Newbury reverts to original title
Magician to stay in the US
Henderson considers hurdles for Bob
27 October 2014Mountainous back on National trail
Ground to dictate Gold run
Elite aim for Rendezvous
Classic dreams at Leopardstown
Smullen celebrates seventh title
Cheltenham target for Module
Pete shows his Aintree mettle
Royal-Oak double for Boistron
Starchitect in surprise strike
New One given Haydock mission
Balding excited by Park prospects
Sights set high for Crafty