Edwardstone – my was he worth waiting for!
Alan might have upset the social media ‘experts’ when twice pulling out Edwardstone from races at the 11th-hour last month, but the boss played his ace when he was happy that the ground was safe, and, granted easier going at Sandown today, our Arkle Chase hero showed his supporters that the wait was well worthwhile when bolting up in what was a very hot Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase.
It was always a race going to be run at a fast pace, which suited Edwardstone perfectly. He travelled like a dream for Tom Cannon, who bided his time at the back but closed up after the Pond fence and powered past Greanteen up the hill to win most impressively.
Tom said:”I could not believe how well I was going, and Edwardstone winged the Pond fence and then he was away. It was a brilliant training performance by Alan and the team to win a race of this stature first time out.”
Alan, celebrating his first Tingle Creek success after picking up three silver medals in the race, said:”That is a big relief. I told Tom that making his seasonal reappearance in a Grade 1 meant that it was not the b-all and end-all, so not to give Edwardstone too hard a race.
“I must thank Nicky (Henderson) for allowing me to take Edwardstone across to Seven Barrows for his final gallop, but mine usually need their first run back so I would have been happy enough to have finished third or fourth. However, to win it, I’m absolutely ecstatic.”
Asked what lies between here and the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, for which Edwardstone’s odds have been cut to 11-4, Alan added:”It’s in the back of my mind to have a look at the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton over Christmas, and I’d also like to run in the Game Spirit at Newbury.
“Maybe now the social media set will back off and give me a break. I wanted to run Edwardstone at Cheltenham, but I was not happy with the ground and I think I know what I am doing.
“It was the same at Ascot, but everything was right today and the ground here is streets better than it was at either Ascot or Newbury.
“My heart skipped a beat when he pitched at the first of the Railway fences, but he pinged the next two and I must confess that I was blown away with the way he quickened clear from the second last.”