Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 22 March 2018

Bergo bids to be big in Japan after Ffos stroll

Bergo has the Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan as a long-term target after maintaining his unbeaten record at Ffos Las yesterday.

The seven-year-old, which started 3/10 favourite, won the three-runner contest on the bridle throughout. The Gary Moore-trained, Harry Findlay-owned gelding was given an educational ride by Tony McCoy as he beat Danehill Willy by 18 lengths.

He holds an entry in the Irish Independent Arkle next week but the Far East is instead calling him next year. "The plan is to go for the Grand Jump in Japan next year. I don't care if we miss Aintree as well as Cheltenham," Findlay said.

"I think they'll go a fast pace in the Arkle, which would suit him, but he was a problem horse when Gary got him. It's taken so long to get his confidence up that I don't want to send him there next week."

McCoy had another short-priced winner when in-form Rebecca Curtis saddled Black Jack Blues (1/4 favourite) to win the opening novices' hurdle. Twice a scorer in bumpers, he was following a win at Ludlow last month when beating Cresswell Pride by 10 lengths. "He won like a good thing but Tony said he didn't like the ground," said Curtis.

Evan Williams was in hot water with the stewards, who found him guilty of schooling in public with Whatdoyoucallit. Williams was fined £3,000 and jockey Donal Fahey given a 14-day ban (March 22--April 4). The horse was banned for 40 days (March 11--April 19) after finishing sixth.

Richard Johnson gave Tim Vaughan's Chapel Flowers (3/1) a positive ride in the Absolute Marquees Handicap Chase. Johnson attributed the victory to the quicker surface. "It definitely felt like we were going a stride quicker in the straight on this better ground," said Johnson, who also landed the concluding bumper aboard Rudanphast (11/2).

Irish Independent

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