Tag Archive for: Marble Sands

Marble Sands gets the better of Rare Edition at Huntingdon

Marble Sands upset short-priced favourite Rare Edition to take the M1 Agency Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle at Huntingdon.

The latter was a 4-5 shot when lining up for the race undefeated under rules, having won a bumper and four hurdle contests by a combined 29 and a half lengths.

For trainer Charlie Longsdon and Sam Twiston-Davies Rare Edition made the running until the just after the second from last, when the Fergal O’Brien-trained Marble Sands – last seen finishing fifth to Hermes Allen in the Challow Hurdle – took up the lead under Kielan Woods.

Despite hanging right and then left between the penultimate fence and the line, Marble Sands was still able to pull away from the favourite and record a two-and-three-quarter-length victory at 9-2.

O’Brien said: “That is a fantastic win. Kielan gave him a fantastic ride. He would not be straightforward at home as he is very gassy.

“He is a fine horse and that is three he has won this season. He has done it well today. He missed the last and lost his shoe and we have beaten a very good horse.

“If we had finished second we would have been very happy as it would have been a good run, but I’m absolutely over the moon.

“It was much different ground at Newbury, but he didn’t run badly as it was a very good Challow Hurdle. That is where the team have been great they have brought him back from a very tough race and produced him for today.

“He was very keen in Challow and probably pulled his way out of a chance. Kielan spoke to Paddy (Brennan) and he said ‘your best chance of winning today was taking your time and coming with one run’ and it worked so I’m delighted.”

The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival is now an option, with the grey a 25-1 chance with Betfair and 33-1 with William Hill.

“We will go back and have a look, but he has done plenty this season to deserve a go at the Ballymore probably so fingers crossed. We will go back and speak to Graeme, David and Jackie (owners) and see what they want to do,” said O’Brien.

Connections were disappointed with the performance of Rare Edition and will make sure there are no underlying issues behind the defeat before considering next steps.

Syndicate manager Bill Esdaile said: “We will get him home and see if anything comes to light. We know he can hurdle better and travel better. It is one of those things and that is racing.

“Sam felt he didn’t get the same feeling as he did at Kempton Park. It might have been the ground as it was plenty quick enough. He is still a very good horse.

“I’d rather him run with a bit of cover, while the trip was a bit of a question mark. I’m not ruling Cheltenham out at the moment.

“When a bubble gets burst everyone is disappointed. One thing I would say is that Menorah got beat over two miles three before coming back and winning the Supreme over two miles.”

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