Tizzard can afford to smile after JPR’S cruel defeat
Greg Wood Cheltenham
If there is a good way to have a valuable winner snatched from your grasp in an instant, Joe Tizzard’s rueful smile after the Arkle Trial Novice Chase here suggested that he knew he had found it. His six-year-old JPR One had the race sewn up as he went to the final fence and cleared it readily as he had the previous dozen – but then stumbled slightly on landing and unseated Brendan Powell, allowing Homme Public to record a very fortunate success. “He’s all right, and he looked like he was going to be very, very impressive,” Tizzard said. “He jumped the last well, and he just crumpled a bit, but they are both up all right and we know we’ve got a horse to go to war with. “This was a lovely next step, it’s not like it happened five out and you don’t know. They’ve come to him on his girths and he’d gone away again, so he was about to put up a proper performance. There’s no doubt about that and these things happen. “I might just give him a bit of a confidence-booster [now], we’ll see, but I don’t think he knows that anything went wrong. He was enjoying himself and jumped for fun.” Betfair reported afterwards that £4,309 was traded on JPR One at the exchange’s basement price of 1.01 (or 100-1 on), while his late slip-up presented Henry Brooke with his first ever winner at Cheltenham aboard Homme Public. “I missed both two out and the last, but he is very good and nimble on his feet and he knows where his feet are,” Brooke said. “He has had a horse fall in front, and it could have been a lot worse, but they are both up okay and they live to fight another day. That is the main thing at the end of the day, and there are people in worse circumstances right now.” Captain Teague was the 4-6 favourite to maintain an unbeaten start to his hurdling career in the Grade Two Hyde Novice Hurdle, but a 5lb penalty for his debut success was too much of a burden as he went down by a length and a quarter to the 22-1 chance Minella Missile. The winner was the 100th in the colours of Janet Davies, one of the longest-standing owners at Evan Williams’s stable in partnership with her late husband, Peter, who died in November 2022. “That’s racing, it pulls in the emotions of life which are important to the very trivial pursuit of going faster than another horse round a grassy field,” Williams said. “It is her 100th winner and she has been very successful, had a lot of winners and some very nice horses. But, as often happens with racing, it sometimes just gives back that little bit of a fairytale. “I’m blessed with the owners I train for. I’m a dinosaur and I train for some very old-fashioned owners and it makes my life very easy. But sometimes that cross-over between real life and racing is fantastic.” Delta Work and Galvin were jostling for favouritism before the Cross Country Chase as the punters anticipated a repeat of their memorable battle to the line at the Festival in March, but neither horse could even make the frame this time around as Foxy Jacks held off the strong charge of Latenightpass by a length and a quarter.