Camping Ground jumped away from field in style at Fontwell
PICTURE: Getty Images
Report: Fontwell, Sunday
totepool National Spirit Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m3f, 4yo+
CAMPING GROUND is a horse who at times has suggested he could be a bit special and on his debut for the Gary Moore yard he produced an emphatic display, pulverising a quality field to win the National Spirit by a gaping 29 lengths.
Weight stops trains, but not Camping Ground – who did his best impression of a runaway locomotive under his conductor Joshua Moore.
He was giving weight to the likes of Adrien Du Pont, Different Gravey, L’Ami Serge and eventual runner-up Le Rocher, but Camping Ground took things up in the home straight with over a circuit to run and by the time he and Moore were jumping the third-last they had 15 lengths on Le Rocher and L’Ami Serge.
From then it appeared a question of whether or not Camping Ground could hold on, instead he went away – all but doubling his lead despite being heavily eased down.
Josh Moore said: “The whole way I was just letting the horse enjoy himself. He was able to fill up and go again. Everything was right for him – the trip, the ground and the fact he could dictate things.
“I’ve ridden him at home and he worked very well. We hoped a change of scenery would help him out. He showed what he was capable of in the Relkeel last year and he’s found a bit of life again.”
While trained by Robert Walford Camping Ground won the 2016 renewal of the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle by 11 lengths, but a series of defeats led to his owner Graham Porter switching the horse to Gary Moore and it was a change that reaped instant reward.
Beaten 36 lengths into fifth in last month’s Relkeel on his final start for Walford, Camping Ground produced a sensational start to life at Moore’s Cisswood stables.
‘A lot of effort has gone into him’
Explaining the transformation, Gary Moore said: “He’s been with us a month. His work was good at home and we’ve been very careful to mind him. There was obviously something going on in the horse’s life because those who rode him said he was a different horse each time.
“We played around with him at home. We did everything we could and Robert Walford would have done the same. Maybe it was just a change of scenery. I’ve treated him like a good horse and a lot of effort has gone into him, believe me.
“Graham [Porter, owner] is very keen to go to the Stayers’ Hurdle but personally I think his trip is 2m 5f. He has a very high cruising speed and has galloped them into the ground there. Over three miles I think you would be pushing your luck.”
On future targets he added: “He’s also in the Coral Cup. I would mind him for the rest of the year. I wouldn’t go back over hurdles next year, I’d go straight chasing with him.”
Since coming to Britain Camping Ground has run four times over fences, winning a handicap at Warwick off 145 and finishing second to Josses Hill in a graduation chase at Kempton. He unseated and fell on his other two attempts.
var $facebookBlock = $(‘#facebook’);