Cloudy Glen lands emotional Ladbrokes Trophy Chase victory at Newbury in the colours of late owner Trevor Hemmings
- The Venetia Williams-trained 33-1 shot caused an upset at Newbury
- The eight-year-old held the persistent challenge of Fiddlerontheroof
- Victory came 48 hours after a memorial service for Trevor Hemmings
Cloudy Glen added an emotion-filled chapter to the annals of the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase when carrying the colours of his late owner Trevor Hemmings to victory at Newbury.
The half-length victory of the Venetia Williams-trained 33-1 shot in the hands of jockey Charlie Deutsch came 48 hours after a memorial service had been held to celebrate the life of Hemmings, who died in October aged 86.
There was even a tribute in the racecard to the businessman and philanthropist, a one-time owner of Blackpool Tower and chairman of Preston North End, recalling his three previous winners in the Ladbrokes Trophy with Trabolgan (2005), Many Clouds (2014) and Cloth Cap (2020).
Cloudy Glen caused a 33/1 upset in the Ladbrokes Trophy Handicap Chase at Newbury
Cloth Cap lined up again yesterday and finished sixth. He led the field for the majority of the race but when he started to slip back entering the home straight it was obvious Cloudy Glen, who had tracked him, was going as well as any of the remaining contenders. Remastered looked a danger until he crashed out at the fourth last fence and although runner-up Fiddlerontheroof narrowed the gap, he never looked like bridging it.
Williams, who won the 1998 Ladbroke Trophy with Teeton Mill, described Cloudy Glen as a quirky horse but said confidence had been boosted by his work after having a breathing operation since being pulled up in his last run in April.
She said: ‘To have Trevor’s two horses making the running turning for home was unbelievable. In his business he was really on it but he understood horses and that you had to be patient.
‘Cloudy Glen has had a wind operation since he last ran and we were hoping it would help. He has always been a weird one. He did a piece of work last week and I thought ‘‘Blimey, where did that come from’’. I decided to run him in this race after that.’
Hemmings won the Grand National three times and that may end up being a target.
Cloudy Glen’s win was also the biggest for 25-year-old Deutsche. He has been rebuilding his career following a 10-month jail sentence in 2018 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving while over the limit. Deutsch said: ‘It was the best day ever. It couldn’t have gone any better.’
Meanwhile, former Champion Hurdler Epatante was cut to 10-1 to regain her crown at Cheltenham after a thrilling dead heat with Not So Sleepy in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle in Newcastle.
Trainer Nicky Henderson had hoped Epatante’s jumping would be slicker after a back operation and said: ‘From what I could see it was fantastic and was her biggest weapon. That’s what she lost.’