Sacre bleu! What a darling horse
It is not often that the final race of a meeting on a Wednesday in January attracts a lot of attention. But the closing bumper, or the Premier Food Courts Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race as it read on the Newbury racecard, did just that.
The main reason was the racecourse debut of a Network gelding out of Fatima III. His name is Flinteur Sacre and he is the only full brother of the legend that is Sprinter Sacre.
Flinteur Sacre finished second (he did drift in the market) but his trainer, Nicky Henderson, was happy enough with the effort.
The winner was Your Darling who was three lengths clear at the line. The horse, trained by Ben Pauling, was bought by former trainer Henrietta Knight for her brother-in-law Lord Vestey.
She obtained Your Darling from the same place in Ireland as Best Mate and she thinks he could be on the same level as the three time Gold Cup winner.
It is very early days but Ms Knight knows a lot about horses so she knows what to look for. Your Darling is in the betting for the Champion Bumper in March but his trainer is not necessarily going that way.
The winner was ridden by Nico De Boinville and was the third part of a treble on the day. His other two were for his boss Nicky Henderson and Shishkin was an impressive winner of the novice hurdle where he won by eleven lengths.
He had fallen early on in his first race over timber but made no mistake this time. He is a best priced 10/1 for the Supreme and strictly on ratings he should be bigger. I would have liked to see him again before the festival but I’m not sure there is time.
Exciting times ahead for connections of all three young horses.