RICHARD Johnson is hoping for a decent spin on Philip Hobbs-trained Filbert in the feature race at Perth today.
The Somerset raider, who pulled up in a Grade 3 event at the Cheltenham Festival, faces six opponents in the £25,000 Old Mout Cider Handicap Chase (for the Kilmany Challenge Cup).
Johnson said: “If he gets it right he’ll hopefully have a big chance. He can be a bit hit or miss but this smaller field should help him. “He was a bit lost and never happy at Cheltenham and the ground should be fine. Fingers crossed it doesn’t dry out too much as he doesn’t like it quick.”
Among the opposition for Filbert is last year’s winner Majala who edged him by a neck off a 2lb higher mark 12 months ago.
In a nice touch to soon-to-retire champion jockey AP McCoy, 150 green and gold balloons, the colours of his employer, JP McManus, were released into the sky from the winners’ enclosure yesterday.
We could also have seen a decent future chaser in the shape of Onenightinvienna who pipped fellow 11/10 joint-favourite Caracci Apache by a length in the Aberdeen Asset Management Plc/EBF Stallions “Future Champions” “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle.
The win puts Hobbs two short of a seasonal century and his wife Sarah said: “We are desperate to get to 100 and we’ve probably got about seven more runners before the end of the season on Saturday. Onenightinvienna will make a fantastic novice chaser and we’re really excited about next season.”
Sun Cloud and Brian Hughes landed the Aberdeen Asset Management PLC Handicap Chase (for the Scottish Memories Challenge Cup) by half a length from Edmund Kean.
Winning trainer Malcolm Jefferson said: “He’s a grand straightforward and very honest horse.”
Yetholm-based Sandy Forster, granddaughter of the late Ken Oliver, struck with 28/1 chance High Fair who was the outsider of the field in the Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
The Borders raider was ridden by Hawick amateur Tom Hamilton and Forster said: “She might have won but for falling at the last at Musselburgh last time and her owner Derek Simpson has been very patient waiting for this first win.”
Forster didn’t wait long for her next strike as less than two hours later See The Legend (18/1) romped home in the amateur riders’ hurdle under Joanna Walton to seal a stunning 550/1 double.