Harry Topper wins Charlie Hall Chase as Long Run disappoints
Harry Topper brought back the glory days for Kim Bailey with a hard-fought triumph over Wayward Prince in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.
Bailey has had lean times since he saddled winners of the Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle in the 1990s, but has been enjoying a renaissance in recent seasons.
In Harry Topper (5-1) he has a chaser who could take him back to the big time as he held last year's runner-up Wayward Prince by a neck under Jason Maguire after a thrilling battle in the closing stages.
Long Run, the 4-5 favourite, was a big disappointment and the 2011 Gold Cup hero never looked like taking a hand in the finish after making a bad mistake down the back.
Bailey said: "I've always hoped for big things from him, but he's had a problem with his jumping. He doesn't want soft ground for his jumping but he needs soft ground to help slow the others down a bit.
"He's like Master Oats in that he's all guts. I hope I did the right thing by missing Cheltenham last year but we took him to Kelso for an easy race and he fell. Then he was brought down in Ireland and that knocked him back mentally. He's not easy to train, he's a box walker but he's got guts and Jason knows him well.
"I've always had to be patient with him. He was in a field two years ago and I'm here a year earlier than I expected. I don't know where we go from here because even though Long Run ran it wasn't the real Long Run and the second is an exposed 11 -year-old, so the form at the minute doesn't look great."