Sunday October 29
Wayne Hutchinson was waxing lyrical and enormously proud of Smad Place after the pair had teamed up for a glorious winning seasonal debut n the feature Old Roan Chase at Aintree today.
A brilliant leap at the last clinched victory for Smad Place, who held off the renewed effort of Cloudy Dream by three parts of a length, prompting the jockey to laud praise on one of the most popular horses at Barbury.
Hutchinson said:”Smad Place is very close to my heart, as he is to everyone in the yard, and I’d happily clear space in my garage to make room for him.
“He’s been a fantastic servant, not only to me but to the boss and the owners, and showed here that he still races with as much enthusiasm as he ever has done.
“Alan has had him since he was a juvenile hurdler, and he has run in seven consecutive Cheltenham Festivals, which is a great tribute to both the horse and the trainer.
“All credit to Alan, The original plan was to start back in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, but he discussed it with the owners and they opted to come here which was a great shout.
“He was only fourth in this race last year, but this time around he was 8lb lower and the ground was a bit slower which helped, but he is such a straight-forward horse to ride. I just point him in the right direction and try not to interfere with things.
“He’s such a smashing jumper and he really came up for me at the last when we needed a big one – that put the race to bed. Obviously, he’s getting close to his 11th birthday, but he’s still enjoying his racing and while he falls just short in the Grade 1’s, he is still capable of picking up plenty of prize money and never runs a bad race. He such a model of consistency and I love him to bits.”
Smad Place, twice placed in a World Hurdle, also has a Hennessy Gold Cup triumph on his CV from 2015, and his message at Aintree was “we ain’t finished yet”.