Saturday 21 October 2017

Veteran Carberry guides Solwhit to glory in the World Hurdle

Paul Carberry celebrates on Solwhit after winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle on St Patrick's Thursday
Paul Carberry celebrates on Solwhit after winning the Ladbrokes World Hurdle on St Patrick's Thursday

Ashley Iveson

SOLWHIT arrived late on the scene to deny the Stewart family a fairytale victory with Celestial Halo in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

In the absence of Big Buck's it was left to Celestial Halo to carry the red and white silks of Andy Stewart for Paul Nicholls, but in the end he had no answer to Solwhit's surge up the hill.

Bog Warrior and Bryan Cooper, replacing the injured Davy Russell, set out to make all, taking over from Reve De Sivola very early on.

As they came down the hill all the big guns were in trouble with Oscar Whisky and Peddlers Cross in particular disappointing.

Celestial Halo looked to have everything covered as the runners entered the straight but as Bog Warrior weakened it was Solwhit who found a turn of pace to put the race to bed.

Smad Place filled third spot again, just as he had done 12 months ago.

It was a stroke of luck for Carberry who only became available when his intended mount Monksland picked up an injury last week.

Carberry was also out of action on Wednesday as he recovered from a fall on the opening day.

The win took Ireland's tally to nine for the week and was the first Irish-trained success in the race since Dorans Pride in 1995.

Carberry said: "He was idling a bit, I was always afraid to take it up too early.

"Charles said to attack at the last so I timed it as well as I could. Celestial Halo made a bit of a mistake at the last, he pricked his ears a bit but kept going to the line."

Byrnes said: "It's brilliant. A lot of work went into him, everyone at home has looked after him so well and it's a big thank you to the owners for sticking with it.

"He had a bit of heat in his leg, we tried to bring him back last year but we weren't happy so we had to give him the rest of the year (off).

"He's a serious horse. He's the only horse that could run Hurricane Fly close and he hasn't lost it.

"He rode him exactly the way I wanted him to ride it. I couldn't get Davy Russell (claimed for Bog Warrior), it was bad luck on him because that's his ride.

"I felt someone like Paul would suit the horse. he was plenty of jockey for him when I couldn't get Davy.

"We knew he was coming back, but I kind of felt in the last few weeks that it had come together and I was very happy coming here. Keith, who rides him all the time, was very happy with him as well.

"It's fantastic."

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