Mister Fisher prevails in Peterborough prize

Mister Fisher claimed top honours in the Fitzdares Club Loves The Peterborough Chase at Cheltenham.

Originally due to be run at Huntingdon last Sunday before that fixture was abandoned due to flooding, the Grade Two contest was swiftly rescheduled to form part of a bumper eight-race card in the Cotswolds.

Mister Fisher was a high-class novice over fences for Nicky Henderson last season – winning at Cheltenham and Doncaster before finishing fourth behind the top-class Irish trio of Samcro, Melon and Faugheen in the Marsh Novices’ Chase at the Festival.

The six-year-old was pulled up on his reappearance in last month’s Paddy Power Gold Cup, but showed his true colours on his return to Prestbury Park – travelling strongly to lead early in the home straight in the hands of Nico de Boinville.

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The heavily supported 5-2 favourite Kalashnikov – a late addition to the race after it was switched to a left-handed track – looked a huge threat after a flying leap at the final fence, but Mister Fisher (9-2) dug deep up the hill to see him off by a length and three-quarters.

Clondaw Castle was best of the rest in third.

After equalling Henrietta Knight’s record of eight Peterborough Chase victories, Henderson said: “That was good. It was a good race.

“When he ran in the Paddy Power, I think it was combination of his first run and very soft ground. This has turned out be harder work than I thought and softer than I hoped for. I’m not going to start talking about ground again, don’t you worry, that’s off the agenda this weekend!

“Well done everyone for getting this race put on again. This was the right race for him today as he was in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (on Saturday), but I think just being able to be up there and having a bit of daylight – he enjoyed it.

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“They went a good gallop all the way. He jumped great. He is learning and he is a young horse on the up.”

Coral cut Mister Fisher to 14-1 from 25-1 for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in March.

Henderson added: “Nico says the Ryanair is the race for him and I’ll go with that. He doesn’t want to go three miles. He says that is enough, so it looks like the Ryanair road.

“I’m not going to wrap him up and put him away as he will run again, but he will want to be nice and fresh as he wants a spring campaign rather than a winter campaign because of the ground.”

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