Tuesday 20 August 2019

'Oscar' scores for Cooper in Potts silks

Finian’s Oscar, with Bryan Cooper up, on the way to winning the Novices’ Steeplechase at Cheltenham yesterday. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Finian’s Oscar, with Bryan Cooper up, on the way to winning the Novices’ Steeplechase at Cheltenham yesterday. Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Marcus Armytage

Finian's Oscar was a poignant two-length winner of the Novice Chase at Cheltenham yesterday, but that had looked unlikely when Movewiththetimes shot past him at the second-last fence.

"There's a bit of Alan Potts in the horse," said Colin Tizzard referring to the five-year-old's owner, who died last Sunday.

"When push comes to shove, he found more. It didn't look like his race at the second last but Bryan (Cooper) was very positive at the last and he won it quite cosily.

"It came as a shock when Alan passed away and no one knew what would happen, but the message came through to keep running the horses."

Cooper said: "He's very smart, this one. It was a messy race and he was a little bit brave.

pounce "I knew Barry (Geraghty) was going to try and pounce on me if I didn't jump the last. He picked up well, though - he's plenty of boot. He's two out of two (over fences) and can only get better."

Nicky Henderson's On The Blind Side won the Ballymore Novice Hurdle in a similar style.

It was not until halfway up the run-in that he began to motor but it is coming back here for three-mile chases next season that is really exciting the trainer.

Riding performance of the day went to Tom Scudamore, who made all on his brother Michael's Kingswell Theatre to win the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase .

Meanwhile, Japan Cup hopeful Idaho enjoyed some light exercise yesterday after arriving in the country ahead of his big-race date.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained four-year-old is due to undertake his next international challenge in the 12-furlong event at Tokyo racecourse next Sunday after racing in America, France and Canada on his last three starts. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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