The Glancing Queen capped a successful campaign with a Cheltenham triumph courtesy of the Stay In The Montpellier Town House Mares’ Handicap Chase.
Trained by Alan King, the white-faced mare has been in good form all season, winning twice at Listed level towards the tail end of last year before coming home second behind L’Homme Presse in the Dipper Novices’ Chase.
Subsequently seventh in the Plate Handicap Chase at the Festival, the eight-year-old returned to winning ways with a six-length victory as the 8-13 favourite.
“That was great and a good way to finish the season,” said King of the Tom Cannon-ridden scorer.
“I just think she might be a better two-miler than she is over an extended two and a half (miles).
“I’ve just felt that she hasn’t quite got home the last twice and I know we were behind Venetia’s (Williams) horse on New Year’s Day (L’Homme Presse), (but) she was rather going up and down on the spot in the last half a furlong and definitely did that again at the Festival.
“We just felt that we’d come back in trip and see and she’s done it well, for all that it was in a lesser race today.
“We’ll have a look at some more mares’ races for her next season and I wouldn’t be frightened to try two miles five (furlongs) at other tracks, it just seems to stretch her round here.
“Hopefully she’s good enough to run in some of those graded mares’ races next season and if you look at today she’s galloped through the line and hit it hard – so it’s a good way to finish the season.”
Charlie Todd rode out his claim when steering the Ian Williams-trained Malakahna to victory in the Grade Three Junior Jumpers Membership Fillies’ Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
The young jockey enjoyed his first Pattern winner when Party Business prevailed at Aintree on Saturday and he continued in the same winning form at Cheltenham when his mount obliged as the 7-2 favourite.
“It’s my first winner here and my claim has gone now, so it’s great,” he said.
“She’s a tough mare and if you look at her, she’s not very big and she’s won four races this term so it’s great and a good training performance by the boss.
“I spoke to my agent Ian Popham at the start of the season and the plan was to ride out the claim this year. We had a difficult summer as such with injuries and things, but we’ve got it done now so hopefully we can keep going forward.”
Precious Eleanor was a Listed winner for Henry Daly when striking in the British EBF Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase Final at 9-4 under Richard Patrick.
The grey was a 15-length winner and redeemed herself after misbehaving in the preliminaries and biting and kicking out at Martin Keighley’s Found On, who was then withdrawn.
“She’ll bite you walking in the stable at home and it’s just the way she is, but once you get going, she’s ok,” Daly said.
“Even when you go down with another horse, she spends all of her time trying to bite them and as soon as she gets to the bottom, she looks up and away you go.
“We just have to be careful, as she will aim and when she wants to kick one, she will do it. We’re just wary of it and accept it’s what she does but I’m very sorry to the Keighleys with Found On, especially as it was a chance to get some black type.
“If you watch her action you’d think she’d want wetter ground, but she does seem to prefer better ground.
“The last twice is what she’s had and she loves jumping and enjoys the game. Her next race will be a Listed contest at Market Rasen in October.”