Theologist adds to Newland's Pertemps hand
Dr Richard Newland's Theologist joined stablemate Bellflower Boy in the shake-up for the Pertemps Final after a gritty victory in the latest qualifying round at Huntingdon.
This was nowhere near as impressive as Bellflower Boy's 21-length masterclass at Warwick on Thursday but different attributes were required in ground which jockey Aidan Coleman described as "as soft as you get round here," after winning the opening contest.
Theologist (7/1) and Tour Des Champs were eyeballing each other for most of the three and a quarter miles, with Josh Moore grabbing a crucial three-quarters of a length back from Willy Twiston-Davies in the last strides.
"He's as tough as old boots and we bought him for his stamina. He's really proved that this season," said Newland.
"I didn't think the track would suit and I'd like to run him in the final if he gets in.
"Bellflower Boy will go there too, and he's likely to go up much more in the ratings because of the manner of his win."
Connections of Ile de Re (11/8f), which won the concluding novice hurdle, may now prepare their charge for a crack at the Chester Cup in May.