Sport Horse Racing

Monday 19 August 2019

Watch: Felix Desjy outlasts them all as Gordon Elliott enjoys quickfire double at Aintree

Felix Desjy ridden by Jack Kennedy before winning the 2.20 Betway Top Novices' Hurdle. Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
Felix Desjy ridden by Jack Kennedy before winning the 2.20 Betway Top Novices' Hurdle. Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Graham Clark

Jack Kennedy gave Felix Desjy an excellent front-running ride to win the Betway Top Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.

Gordon Elliott's six-year-old survived a bad mid-race blunder to make all the running in the Grade One, having finished fifth in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Itchy Feet was two places in front of him last month, but he never looked happy here and it was to his credit that he stuck on gamely to claim fourth behind the 7-2 winner.

It was left to Aramon and Ruby Walsh to make ground from the rear and while the 3-1 favourite was the only runner to threaten after the last, he could only get within a length and a half.

Elliott and Kennedy were completing a quickfire double after Three Musketeers took the opener, the Merseyrail Handicap Hurdle.

Formerly with Dan Skelton, the nine-year-old had always been highly thought of, but never quite delivered on his promise.

Backed into 8-1 just before the off, he was still only in fourth on jumping the last, as Point Of Principle saw off Sternrubin and Canardier.

But Jack Kennedy brought Three Musketeers with a relentless run down the middle of the track to win by a length and three-quarters.

Elliott said: "He had been working well in them at home (cheekpieces). It was nice to win and he's the first horse I've had for the owners, who are from Liverpool originally.

"I was worried we might be going a step too high, but Jack gave him a great ride. Dan (Skelton) recommended the horse came to me, so it's a big thanks to him.

"I spoke to the owners a couple of times over the last week. He had and an entry in it and I thought he had a nice weight, so we decided to take our chance.

"He has been working well at home. I'd say the change of scenery worked. He could be a horse for the Galway Plate, as he stays and jumps well.

"The Galway Plate is back over fences and that is what I have in my head."

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