Boy grows up

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The Independent Online
MARK DWYER picked up a marvellous spare ride when Addington Boy, in only his first season over fences, put a clutch of Grand National entries in their place in the Pertemps Great Yorkshire Handicap Chase here yesterday.

The Gordon Richards-trained eight-year-old hardly put a foot wrong against his more experienced rivals and jumped to the front three out to beat a rejuvenated Merry Master by five lengths.

Dwyer was a last-minute replacement for Tony Dobbin, badly shaken by a fall in the previous race. He said: "It was bad luck for Tony, but the horse gave me a tremendous ride. He was always travelling and certainly did not jump like a novice."

Merry Master, who made much of the running, may miss Aintree in favour of the Scottish Grand National, in which he went down by a neck three years ago. Dextra Dove, who fell for the first time in his life at the fourth fence, is still on course for the National; his trainer Simon Earle said: "That will make him think a bit when he sees the big fences."

Another bound for Aintree is Valiant Warrior, who landed a gamble with an 11-length victory in an incident-packed Mitsubishi Shogun Trophy and put himself in line for a tilt at the John Hughes Chase.

The 10-year-old Cab On Target, having his first run since November, failed by a length and a half to give two stone to the progressive Zamhareer, a horse half his age, in the Yeller Publications Handicap Hurdle. Cab On Target will still take his chance in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham if he gets his favoured fast ground.

The winner provided a nice cross-course double for Wilf Storey's small Consett yard, his stablemate Northants having taken the opening race at Newbury, but earned a three-day ban for whip misuse for his rider Paul Carberry, who will now miss the first two days of Cheltenham.

The frustrating Callisoe Bay, who had fallen in two of his four previous runs over fences, took another step towards fulfilling his undoubted potential with a confidence-boosting 15-length victory in the Velka Pardubicka Novices' Chase, but will skip both Cheltenham and Liverpool.

His trainer, Oliver Sherwood, has decided to adopt a low-key approach with the huge seven-year-old for the rest of the season, saying: "He's such a big horse he finds it difficult to shorten, but he is gradually learning, and there will be plenty of opportunities for the horse without putting him under pressure."

Callisoe Bay was the second leg of a double for Graham Bradley, who coasted home in the opening Pardubice Novices' Hurdle on another odds-on shot, Blaze Away, who is bound for the Sun Alliance Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.