Captain commands Arkle respect
Published 15/03/2011 | 14:25
Captain Chris collared long-time leader Finian's Rainbow at the last to land a fast and furious race for the Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham.
Barry Geraghty had nearly all his rivals under pressure as Finian's Rainbow jumped boldly and cleanly throughout.
Richard Johnson produced Captain Chris (6-1) to challenge in the straight and Philip Hobbs' charge joined Finian's Rainbow at the last and galloped on strongly up the hill to win by two and three-quarter lengths.
Irish raider Realt Dubh was six lengths away in third.
Johnson said: "He's quite inexperienced and the first run of his life was only just over a year ago, but he's improved all the time and this better ground was definitely a big help.
"He's such a trier as well and it was great of the owners to run him in this as they could have gone for the easier race (Jewson Novices' Chase).
"He'd done nothing wrong and every race he's run in has been a high-class race. It's beautiful ground out there and they've done a great job."
Hobbs said: "We've got it right now anyway! We've always thought he wanted two and a half miles and, to be fair, I still think he does.
"He was at work quite a long way from home but his jumping was mustard. He was a little bit right-handed, he'll always do that."