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Newbury target for Botox Has following winning return

Gary Moore is targeting Botox Has at the Gerry Feilden Hurdle at Newbury next month following his victory at Cheltenham on Saturday.

The four-year-old overcame a 315-day absence to score for the third time in four starts since joining the Moore team from France.

“I was expecting a big run. He’s come back well and I’m very pleased with him,” said Moore on Sunday.

“He ate up last night and walked out sound this morning so we live to fight another day.

“I’d say his next race would be the Gerry Feilden at the Hennessy meeting at Newbury towards the end November.

“The aim last season had been to go to Liverpool after he had won at Cheltenham in December, but then we had the pandemic so that was that.”

Moore reports his other exciting young prospect Goshen to be heading for the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton November 7, as long as there is enough cut in the ground.

Goshen was successful on his first four starts over hurdles last term, before his winning streak came to an end in dramatic fashion in the Triumph at Cheltenham when he exited at the final flight with the race at his mercy.

Goshen about to unseat Jamie Moore after making a hash of the final flight in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival
Goshen about to unseat Jamie Moore after making a hash of the final flight in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival (Simon Cooper/PA)

He has been beaten in two races on the Flat this autumn, but Moore feels his latest run was better than he was given credit for in some quarters.

“He’s fine. He goes to the Elite if we get some rain. Wincanton seems to be dodging the rain at the moment,” said the West Sussex handler.

“He wasn’t beaten far by a horse (Natural History) that was runner-up in a Group Three on Saturday (St Simon Stakes at Newbury), so perhaps his run on the Flat the other day (at Goodwood) wasn’t quite as bad as everyone thought it was.”

Moore will send his two highly-promising four-year-olds their separate ways for the time being.

“I’ll keep them apart,” he said. “Whether Botox Has is up to Goshen’s level, I don’t know. I’d like to think he is, but he’ll have to jump up a fair bit.”

Southfield Stone delights Nicholls at Cheltenham

Southfield Stone resumed his progression over fences with a near foot-perfect round of jumping in the Best Odds At Matchbook Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.

Having finished in the frame in all five starts over fences last season, the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old went one better than on his most recent appearance in a Grade Two at Kempton in February to claim the two-and-a-half-mile prize.

Racing close to the pace throughout, the 2-1 second-favourite rallied back past Coole Cody between the final two fences, before staying on well to claim victory by a length and a half, on his first start since under going a wind operation.

Nicholls said: “He has been one of those lucky horses that couldn’t run in the spring because of Covid-19 and he is able to be a novice until December 1. That bit of experience just helps them. He ran some nice races last year. Physically he is a better horse this year and that was probably his best performance.

“He is a nice horse and will win plenty of races. We have just got to place him in the right races. Going left-handed suits him better and that is the best he has jumped today.

“He would have won the Pendil at Kempton last season if he hadn’t walked through the ditch at the far side. He wasn’t quite jumping and his wind was troubling him a fraction, but we’ve sorted that out.”

Assessing future targets, the Ditcheat handler earmarked a return to Cheltenham for the Paddy Power Gold Cup, for which he was introduced at 16-1 by Sky Bet.

He added: “I will enter him in the Paddy Power Gold Cup as he is a second-season novice and that could be an option. The other option is to come back for the novice chase at the meeting over the same trip.”

A view of the empty stands during the Masterson Holdings Hurdle
A view of the empty stands during the Masterson Holdings Hurdle (David Davies/PA)
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Botox Has defied a 315-day absence to make a triumphant return to action in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle.

The Gary Moore-trained four-year-old picked up where he left off in the extended two-mile prize, on his first start since claiming a Triumph Hurdle trial in December.

Tracking the early pace cut out by Allmankind, the 11-2 chance moved into a lead he would not surrender on the approach to the last.

Finding plenty, Botox Has crossed the line four lengths clear of The Pink’N, with favourite Allmankind a further three and a half lengths adrift back in third.

Winning jockey Joshua Moore said: “He won nicely. He picked up quicker than I expected down the hill and he saw it out really well. I was hoping it wouldn’t turn into a test of speed, so I sat as close as I could to Harry (Skelton, on Allmankind) and he hit the hill and galloped out well.

“When I rode him here in the November meeting, I rode him with the future in mind and I took the wider route for the better ground at the time and he was a weaker horse last year. This time I rode him closer and I was quite confident he would give him (Allmankind) a race.

“The Elite Hurdle wouldn’t be for this lad, as it would be too quick (of a return) for him.”

Botox Has was introduced at 50-1 for the Champion Hurdle by Betfair, while William Hill went 33-1 for the same race.

Henry Daly celebrated his first Cheltenham in more than four years after Coral Cup fifth Honest Vic stepped up in trip to land the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.

The seven-year-old – who is owned by Daly’s mother Carole, uncle and first cousin – made his first start over three miles a winning one with a four-length victory over the five-timer-seeking Lock’s Corner.

Daly said of the 12-1 winner: “I think my last winner here was at the hunter chase evening. He has done that all right. The bonus from my point of view is that he is owned by my mother, uncle and first cousin and that makes life a little bit sweeter really.

“He ran seriously well in the Coral Cup. You can’t get away from the fact that form at the Festival is strong and if he got the trip, which we thought he would, we were hoping he was going to win, but I have to say I didn’t think he would win like that.

“We were going to over fences, but we might have to have a think. He might be better in conditions races over hurdles over a trip.”

The stands may have been empty but that failed to wipe the smile off the face of Angus Cheleda, who celebrated his first winner at the track after steering Bermeo (20-1) to glory in the Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase.

The 21-year-old said of the Johnny Farrelly-trained winner “It’s unbelievable, and I’m so grateful to get the call-up for it. He is a brilliant horse and is really gutsy.

“He probably didn’t like the ground  today but he kept on brilliantly. He is an awesome jumper and just overall I’m over the moon. He stopped travelling for a fair way out but to be fair to him he just stayed all day. It was a really good result.”

I Am Maximus (4-1) followed in the hoofprints of stablemate Time Flies By when prevailing by a length and three-quarters on debut in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Trainer Nicky Henderson said: “Henrietta Knight brought him in Ireland for Mike Grech.

“This is a lovely horse. We will talk about what to do next, but he will be very good.”

John McConnell has found the key to Streets Of Doyen, who completed a four-timer with a tenacious three-and-a-half-length success in the Lara Telfer Reined In For Racing Welfare Novices’ Hurdle.

Jockey Richard Johnson said of 11-4 shot: “When I got really stuck into him after the second last he kept responding.”

Botox Has makes light work of lengthy absence

Botox Has defied a 315-day absence to make a triumphant return to action in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The Gary Moore-trained four-year-old picked up where he left off in the extended two-mile prize, on his first start since claiming a Triumph Hurdle trial in December.

Tracking the early pace cut out by Allmankind, the 11-2 chance moved into a lead he would not surrender on the approach to the last.

Finding plenty, Botox Has crossed the line four lengths clear of The Pink’N, with favourite Allmankind a further three and a half lengths adrift back in third.

Winning jockey Joshua Moore said: “He won nicely. He picked up quicker than I expected down the hill and he saw it out really well. I was hoping it wouldn’t turn into a test of speed, so I sat as close as I could to Harry (Skelton, on Allmankind) and he hit the hill and galloped out well.

“When I rode him here in the November meeting, I rode him with the future in mind and I took the wider route for the better ground at the time and he was a weaker horse last year. This time I rode him closer and I was quite confident he would give him (Allmankind) a race.

“The Elite Hurdle wouldn’t be for this lad, as it would be too quick (of a return) for him.”

Botox Has was introduced at 50-1 for the Champion Hurdle by Betfair, while William Hill went 33-1 for the same race.