Tag Archive for: Favour And Fortune

Fortune favours Alan King ace in Scottish Champion Hurdle

Favour And Fortune bravely fended off a whole host of rivals from title-chasing yards to claim victory in the Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle.

Alan King’s six-year-old swept past the Paul Nicholls-trained front-runner Rubaud but was then pressed hard by Bialystok, from the Willie Mullins Irish raiding party.

However, Favour And Fortune – who was sixth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham – kept on finding more for jockey Tom Cannon and his willing spirit got its just reward, as he rallied to score by half a length at 5-1.

Bialystok was a touch unlucky in second, having been denied a clear passage after coming through to challenge at the final flight.

Cracking Rhapsody finished third, while Afadil was fourth for Nicholls and Dan Skelton’s L’Eau Du Sud plugged on for fifth.

L’Eau Du Sud was sent off favourite, having finished second in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, but he had been unfortunate to be penalised a total of 9lb for those runner-up efforts and that just took its toll.

King told Racing TV: “I must say that when Paul (Townend, on Bialystok) headed us halfway up the run-in, I thought we were in trouble, but he battled back very well.

“It’s the first time since the start of the season that he’s been back on better ground, we’ve been running him on heavy and he’s such a good-actioned horse and his jumping was much better on better ground.

Tom Cannon in the drive position aboard Favour And Fortune
Tom Cannon in the drive position aboard Favour And Fortune (Robert Perry/PA)

“He’s finished for the season – win, lose or draw, we were going to pull up stumps after today. Off the top of my head, I’d like to stay hurdling for another season, but we’ll enjoy today and worry about that in the autumn.

“He will make a chaser, but I think that could be farther down the line.”

Proud Scotsman King added: “I love coming back up here, back home, the place is buzzing and it’s a great atmosphere.

“Having done the three festivals, I felt Cheltenham was a bit subdued, Aintree was brilliant and this nearly tops them, it’s lovely to come back up.”

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Favour And Fortune will be given Champion Bumper option

Alan King will take a patient approach with Favour And Fortune, who remained unbeaten after taking a Warwick bumper with ease on Saturday.

The five-year-old Soldier Of Fortune gelding followed up his impressive Southwell debut success with a seven-and-a-half-length defeat of Alright Dai and could potentially head to the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

Running in the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings, he looked a smart performer under Tom Bellamy and King will consider him for the big National Hunt Flat race on March 15.

“Favour and Fortune will have an entry at Cheltenham and if he didn’t go there, he’d go to Aintree,” said King.

“He is a horse we like a lot. He ran well at Warwick. He is festival bound, but we don’t know where. We will definitely put him in the Champion Bumper.”

Meanwhile, Messire Des Obeaux, who rolled back the years when also scoring at Warwick in a two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase on the same card, has taken his race well.

The 11-year-old, making his first start for 385 days, had a neck to spare over Knight In Dubai, staying on strongly in the closing stages.

King will be in no rush with him, however. He said: “Messire Des Obeaux will tell me when he’s ready.

“He always takes a wee bit of time to get over a run, so I will just see what there is. Obviously, he needs the weather to change as well. The ground has gone for the minute.

“It was a nice race to win the other day, so there is no panic. Even in his younger days, he always took a few weeks to get over his runs. He puts a lot into it.”

Speaking at Hereford on Wednesday afternoon, King reported Arkle Trophy winner Edwardstone has recovered from a minor setback and is still well on course for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, for which he remains Coral’s 13-8 joint-favourite with Energumene for the March 15 Cheltenham feature.

“Edwardstone is all good,” said King. “He will go back into strong work next week.”

Edwardstone, winner of six of his 11 starts over fences, just failed to catch Editeur Du Gite in the rescheduled Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham last month, but King feels that he may have been suffering from a bruised foot during that race.

He added: “He was very lame the next morning, so whether he was feeling it even then. I thought after the last he’d go away and win.

“I was surprised, because usually he finishes a race so well. Look, we’ll see, but he’s fine again anyway.”

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