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Goshen walks away from the last flight with the Contenders Hurdle to safety
By Lee Mottershead, Senior Writer
After Gary Moore finished talking about Steve Packham’s Shallwehaveonemore, the easy winner of Sandown’s first novice hurdle, he was asked what he expected Goshen to do a little over an hour later.
“I expect him to win,” Moore said. He couldn’t have been more right on a day when Goshen’s popularity with the racing public was underscored.
When referring to Goshen, it seems obligatory to remind you that he is the horse that would have won the 2020 Triumph Hurdle by a gigantic margin had he not knocked down Jamie Moore on the final flight. However, there is so much more to be said for an overwhelming stable star who was rightly acclaimed long and loud after winning the Listed Virgin Bet Contenders Hurdle by 15 lengths.
Watch the race replay as Goshen gets back to winning ways
You could, for example, say that Goshen could have been a contender for the Champion Hurdle if his sometimes erratic steering had allowed him to be as good at running left as he is going in the opposite direction. He most likely would have won at Lingfield last month had it not been for his hanging, but Sandown has always been a happy hunting ground. It hasn’t been the same for Cheltenham, and for that reason another tilt at the Champion Hurdle seems unlikely.
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Gary Moore admires Goshen after contenders hurdle
“It will have silenced a lot of people,” said the delighted coach. “It annoys me when people say, will the real Goshen show up? The real Goshen shows up every day, but if he doesn’t have anything in his favor, he doesn’t play.
“Cheltenham will be the owner’s decision, not mine, but if it’s up to me he won’t go there.”
He could break through barriers next season, though, which should give Jamie Moore food for thought over the summer.
“He had a tough race today, and I don’t think we would want to back him up too quickly, but next season he has the opportunity to continue as a novice at Kempton, Ascot and Sandown,” said the jockey from Goshen, who summed it up. kindly adding, “When things click for the horse, he’s good – but things don’t always click.”
Shallwehaveonemore’s performance in Kempton’s Dovecote Hurdle will determine whether he will line up at Cheltenham. That, however, is for the future. The victory was significant because it was Josh Moore’s first since undergoing spinal surgery. Also happy was the Star Sports punter who had a £75,000 bet on the novice at 8-15.
Vaughan is back in the big time
Handicaps on a quality Sandown card did not disappoint.
In the most valuable of these, the £100,000 Virgin Bet Heroes Hurdle, Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch added to their Isles of Scilly loot by scoring with Green Book, which made up for an unfortunate early exit from the Lanzarote Hurdle in beating Beauport and Dans Le Évent.
“He was educated on Thursday and was really bold and confident, so I was hoping we were in business,” said Williams, who has his eye on a Chester Cup tilt, with Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle an option in advance.
Alan Johns is in drive mode on Sandown winner The Milos
The Paul Nicholls-trained Dolos could find themselves in Punchestown after winning this map’s 2m handicap pursuit for the third time, but Deise Aba narrowly missed a hat-trick in the Masters Handicap Chase when she was edged out by The Milos, a great welcome. race winner for Tim Vaughan, for whom it was only his eighth goal of the season.
“We probably don’t have enough of these horses, but this horse shows what Tim can do,” said jockey Alan Johns. He was happy, as was James Bowen, who, having clinched the final on Peejaybee, has now ridden a winner on all British jumps tracks.
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