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."
29 January 2015Classy display from Vercingetorix
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Bayan handed French mission
Ffos Las blow for Carruthers
McCoy in line for Coneygree mount
Blossoming Serge in Supreme hat
Peace declared for Triumph
Hercules features in Bartlett
Exciting Eagle ready for action
Ellison on Red alert
Brother sets sail for Festival date
Games given Neptune entry
Ferof takes Ascot acid test
Cogry has dual Festival options
Hourigan duo to duck National Trial
Salsify back in Foxhunter frame
Wintry Catterick calls inspection
Chepstow on weather watch
Musselburgh bids to beat weather
Legend in line for Kempton repeat
Henderson at Peace for Triumph
Henderson primes Betfair squad
Henderson happy with Sprinter
Unioniste set for Newbury outing
Bolger left in awe of super Sceaux
Sam set for Gold run
Denman date for Obeaux
28 January 2015Charities get O'Sullevan boost
Betway boosts sponsorship portfolio
Estrella waits on record bid
Spring not on Focus agenda
Warne on comeback trail
Warne on comeback trail
Mann planning Bleu National prep
Henderson dealt Triolo blow
Tornado blows hot at Taunton
Mann duo head to Musselburgh
Ginge given Scilly date
Cue Card goes back to basics
Eagle ready for hurdling bow
Shark angling for Punchestown prize
Nicholls retains Zarkandar faith
Ruby handed World ticket
27 January 2015No worries at Wetherby
Fry issue Puzzle warning
Grimthorpe goal for Milan
Ellison duo primed for Supreme test
Mulholland maps out Festival plans
Master retains Festival options
Doubt team seek jumping improvement
Dettori possible for National role
Uttoxeter bid appeals for Murphy
Ryanair defence likely for Dynaste
Palace stars in Towton fifteen
Gilgamboa set for longer trip
Jezki 'fine' after Hurricane defeat
Sire satisfies in schooling session
Sceaux leaves Mullins purring
Faugheen fancied for Walsh mount
26 January 2015Aintree on the agenda for Concerto
Light camp cool on Newbury raid
Zarib earmarked as Winter warmer
Lingfield washed away
Lingfield washed away
'Awesome' Sceaux in Arkle romp
Mullins lands the treble
Super Fly proves Champion again
Concerto plans hinge on scan
Sherwood - More to come from Clouds
Skelton nominates Bartlett for Risk
Bridgwater thrilled with Bolster
Foxrock given Hennessy green light
Meade gives Monksland World aim