Champs beats Paisley Park in a charming long-distance end | Horse racing news

Alan Crowhurst

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Champion: Lead in the long-distance race
Alan Crowhurst

By Liam Head

Friday: Long Distance Coral, Newbury

The Nicky Henderson-trained champion held Paisley Park in a thrilling finish to go down the long-distance race under Jonjo O’Neill Jr.

The ten-year-old made the early start and led from start to finish, despite a Paisley Park rally late on to get him up to a neck.

In doing so, he handed Champ Henderson his first win in this race since Duc De Regniere in 2008.

Speaking to ITV Racing, Jonjo Jr said: “It was a great race. Obviously with Dashel Drasher it made it more difficult because there was no pace. Nicky and AP [McCoy] They were happy to let him roam and the AP rode him here last week and was thrilled with him.

“It’s great to have a horse like him back here and that credit goes to Niki and the team.”

Champs’ win in Division 2 was the fifth time they had topped Newbury in six matches at the track.

Alan Crowhurst

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Champ (right) and Paisley Park jump away from each other

Champ (right) and Paisley Park jump away from each other
Alan Crowhurst

Jonjo Jr added: “I just tried to keep a rhythm and give him a break halfway through. His jumping was great, I taught him yesterday and he was really good – it was the best he’d felt in a long time.”

“He’s been great in my career and just being associated with him is phenomenal.”

Paisley Park trainer Emma Lavelle added: “I’m so proud of him, but he’s been beaten really hard.

“He is very special and having two 10-year-olds competing to finish a race like this epitomizes what National Hunt racing is all about.”

The Olly Murphy trained Thomas Darby traveled well but was unable to go with the eventual top two and finished third, while the Tea Clipper had to settle for fourth.

Proschema was a 5-2 shot to Dan Skelton but had to be pulled on the approach to the home straight.


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First posted at 3:18 PM Nov 25 2022

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