Master Blueyes clears the last in style at Kempton
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Kempton, Saturday
BetBright Genius Adonis Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m, 4yo
YOU can usually rely on the Adonis to shed some light on the JCB Triumph Hurdle picture but there were as many questions as answers to emerge despite a thoroughly impressive winner in Master Blueyes.
What we do know is all roads lead to the Triumph for the winner, who was cut to 20-1 (from 50) with BoyleSports after an 11 lengths triumph under substitute rider Tom Bellamy, but anyone hoping for clarity on the festival target of odds-on favourite Charli Parcs remain in the dark as he took a heavy fall having been under pressure two out.
“Charli Parcs is all right,” confirmed his trainer Nick Henderson. “He seemed to be coming back on the bridle when he did it, but Barry will tell us all. I can’t say he was going to win 20 lengths and I can’t say he was going to be beaten ten.
“I suppose it is only the third run of his life. He was busy down the back there and it was like he was a bit green. As soon as he saw the daylight he gave him a slap and looked to me as if he picked up and joined them. I must admit that looked unlikely at one stage.”
His rider Barry Geraghty took a long time to get his feet and was taken to hospital for precautionary tests before Henderson had a chance to speak to him.
The Adonis has proved a good guide to the Triumph, with Soldatino, Zarkandar and Penzance, also trained by King, graduating from the race to win the the festival contest and on this performance it is easy to place Master Blueyes among the Triumph protagonists.
“I’ve never known a horse come on so much from Ludlow,” said winning trainer King, who had a late change of heart to run here. “It just gave him confidence.
“I was never going to come here but last week I said ‘we’re going for the Adonis and that will tell us if he’s a Triumph horse or not’ and I definitely think he is. He’s just been lethal the last ten days.”
The winner is owned by the 25-strong The Barbury Lions syndicate, which includes King himself, and many were on hand to enjoy the success, while eagerly looking forward to trip to Cheltenham.
“After Ludlow we thought we had a good horse but you never know,” said syndicate member Nigel Bunter, who until earlier this year was King’s landlord at Barbury Castle.
He added: “This was a big step up in class but he proved he’s got it. Hopefully it’s onwards to the Triumph. David Hill, who was chairman at Warwick, put the syndicate together and in fact there is a Barbury Lions Two syndicate, who also have a very good juvenile called Coeur De Lion, so you never know we might meet up.”
Win lose or draw at Cheltenham, Master Blueyes will be sold in May, which could be some pay day for the owners should he triumph in the Triumph first.
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