Goshen back on track with dominant Champion Hurdle victory

Goshen back on track with dominant Wincanton victory… as the Gary Moore-trained runner is slashed to 5-1 for Champions Hurdle

  • Gary Moore-trained Goshen completed a turnaround with a Wincanton victory
  • Last year Goshen unseated Jamie Moore at the final hurdle at Cheltenham 
  • Goshen is now at 5-1 for the Champion Hurdle thanks to the transformative race 

Goshen was slashed to 5-1 for the Champion Hurdle after surging back to form with a facile victory in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton.

Only the two mares – reigning champion Epatante and Irish Champion Hurdle winner Honeysuckle – are now ahead of Gary Moore-trained Goshen in the ante-post betting for the Champion Hurdle after he eased to a 22-length win from Song For Someone.

It was a transformed performance from the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December when Goshen finished 29 lengths behind Song For Someone.

Goshen’s price has plummeted for the Champion Hurdle after a clear victory at Wincanton 

Goshen wrote the hard-luck story of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival when unseating jockey Jamie Moore at the last hurdle when heading to certain victory in the Triumph Hurdle.

He now has a clear chance of Festival redemption and also delivered a fillip to the wider home Festival defence who look to be in danger of being outgunned by the Irish challenge.

Gary Moore said: ‘I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I had him in a good place. I was just hoping he would do what he has done today. It has to be the Champion Hurdle next. It has always been the target since last year. You can’t believe how pleased I am.’

Jamie Moore added: ‘Dad has tried a different training regime with the horse and it’s worked. The horse has enjoyed it and we’ve got him fit in different ways.’

Goshen has bounced-back after a disaster at Cheltenham in 2020, unseating Jamie Moore

Griffiths dashes to breakthrough  

Jockey Matt Griffiths grabbed by far the biggest win of his career when landing the Grade One Ascot Chase on Jeremy Scott-trained Drashel Dasher. 

Griffiths, 30, had not previously won a graded race but a positive ride on Dashel Drasher saw him beat Master Tommytucker two lengths.

Griffiths’ plan to put pressure on Cyrname, the joint top-rated British chaser in training, appeared to pay off as the favourite faded quickly and was pulled up before the 13th fence when reportedly suffering from a respiratory issue.

Dashel Drasher (left) propelled Matt Griffiths to the breakthrough victory of his career 

Dashel Drasher has now won on all four starts at Ascot. He was also bred by Scott and his long-time association with Griffiths goes back to when the rider broke him in as a youngster.

Drashel Dasher was cut to 16-1 for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham but Scott said the eight-year-old was far from certain to run there.

The trainer said: ‘This is very special, and you could say it was our Gold Cup. I don’t often get emotional, but I definitely had a bit of a welling up there as he won. We had to think we were tilting at windmills against Cyrname.

‘At home, he doesn’t blow your socks off – but on the racecourse, he digs deep. Our plan was to put Cyrname under pressure, go out hard and fast. We fluffed the first fence, and Cyrname looked to be cruising away with it.

‘But as soon as we got upsides him and went half a length up, he wilted.

‘He’s in the Ryanair Chase, but let’s get him home and see how he is before making any plans. He had an injury last year, so we’re not that keen to over-race him.’

In four starts at Ascot Drashel Dasher has taken four victories, continuing an impressive run

Riches for Egan 

Jockey David Egan, 21, on board John Gosden-trained Mishriff landed the £7.3million first prize in the Saudi Cup, the world’s richest race in Riyahd. 

Last year Mishriff was second in the Saudi Derby before winning the French Derby.

Earlier on card Hollie Doyle, who was unplaced in the Saudi Cup, grabbed the £437,956 first prize in the Neom Turf Cup on Willie Mullins-trained True Self.

David Egan, a 21-year-old jockey, grabbed the £7.3million prize at the Saudi Cup on Saturday

Richard Hobson-trained Lord Du Mesnil will take his place in the Randox Grand National at Aintree after bravely repelling Achille by half a length in the Grand National Trial at Haydock. 

The Paul O’Brien-trained winner is a 40-1 shot for the big race on April 10.

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