Mister Fisher: winner of the Silviniaco Conti Chase
By Lewis Porteous
After the early morning fog lifted, Mister Fisher had his day in the sun with an authoritative success in the Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase and is now on schedule for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in March.
Fired on his return to action in the King George at Kempton in December, Mister Fisher looked razor sharp in the paddock and, after stalking the leaders down the straight, he hit the forward after the penultimate, pinged the final fence and sprinted to beat Eldorado Allen by a length and three-quarters.
“This race was made for him from the day it was put on the schedule,” said winning coach Nicky Henderson, who has always ranked Mister Fisher at the top of the Seven Barrows pecking order.
Silviniaco Conti Chase: full result and replay
“He was really good, but he’s really good and up there in the upper echelons. I wouldn’t be in a rush to get back to three miles. He has a Gold Cup entry but I think Ryanair is more realistic.”
Coral makes it 16-1 on the winner of the Ryanair, a race in which Mister Fisher, owned by James and Jean Potter, tried to live with the breathtaking gallop of Allaho last year before being stopped before the front -last.
Henderson added: “If it was on good ground he would be competitive. He deserved a nice pot like this and he needs to go fly in the top flight now. We love him – he’s a nice horse. “
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
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Nicky Henderson: Recorded an 821-1 quadruple at Kempton on Saturday
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
It turned into a great day at one of his favorite racetracks for Henderson, who dismissed any worries about his riders’ form with an 821-1 Kempton quadruple.
Falco Blitz set the wheels in motion in the 2m4½f handicap pursuit before Caribean Boy in the 3m handicap pursuit and First Street in the 2m handicap hurdle finished the map in style. For good measure, he also landed the bumper at Warwick with Lucia.
“A fortnight ago I was complaining that they don’t always run well, but you know I love Kempton and even on this ground it suits our horses,” said the trainer. “It was great and we can’t complain.
“Christmas here has been fantastic, but other than Constitution Hill, it’s been a bit boring since then, and then we come back here and everything seems to be back where you want it to be.”
Henderson was particularly delighted to see Caribean Boy back to winning ways after a heavy crash at Ascot last time out and has his eye on a return to Kempton for the £150,000 Coral Chase on February 26.
silver hits gold
Milton Harris, enjoying his best season ever in terms of winners and prize money, unveiled another potential contender for the JCB Triumph Hurdle as Silver Shade made their winning debut on jumps in the juvenile 2m hurdles.
It may have only been an 18,000 gns purchase from the Flat, but there were plenty of winners belonging to Chris Baldwin to admire in the paddock, although Harris was the first to admit there were room for improvement in the jumps department.
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Silver Shade: Another possible festival contender for Milton Harris
Still, he wouldn’t rule out Silver Shade joining stablemate Knight Salute in the Triumph in March, with Coral presenting the winner at 40-1 for the juvenile showpiece.
“I don’t hide from you that I like him,” said Harris, who went on to 36 winners for the season. “He’s different from Knight Salute, he’s a big, strong horse and he’s always done everything right.
“His jumping could be improved but this terrain would be quite tiring for young horses and I think he is a fine horse with a lot of size and wingspan.”
According to his manager, the winner could be tried for Triumph at Cheltenham on January 29, with Knight Salute, a 12-1 overall chance for Triumph, on target for the Coral-backed Adonis Hurdle at Kempton on February 26.
Harris added: “We might just have the best juveniles not necessarily the best year. We have to dream and he could be a Triumph horse.”
There was quite a bit of animation from the usually serene Harry Fry after Ree Okka ran away with the 3m½f novice hurdle under Sean Bowen.
Aintree in April rather than Cheltenham in March seems to be the plan for the six-year-old from the Jago family, who Fry expects to be at his peak when he tackles the fences.
“I love everything about him,” said the winning coach. “He has a can-do attitude and jumps for fun. You’ve been drawn to him and he’s just a lovely young horse that you hope will make a hunter.”