Racing: Another Promise's ability recalls conquests of old

There are certain sets of colours that look just right on a certain type of horse and here yesterday there was nothing to displease the eye in the sight of Another Promise winning the Lightning Novices Chase. The eight-year-old is a massive, dark brown individual; his rider Graham Lee was clad in the green and white livery made famous by the late Geoff Hubbard and now maintained by his family.

Hubbard's most celebrated performer was another of the ilk, Strong Promise, who was placed in two Gold Cups. "Geoff always used to say to me that he liked his horses big and black," said Another Promise's trainer Ferdy Murphy, once assistant to the Suffolk-based owner-trainer, "and he'd certainly have enjoyed this one."

Strong Promise's second Cheltenham effort, his third place to Looks Like Trouble seven years ago, was shrouded in poignancy, coming as it did a week after Hubbard lost his battle with cancer. And when the horse himself was killed in a fall at Aintree the following month, the name of the big, black yearling at home was sealed.

Progressive Another Promise - 17 hands, and the rest, high - gets his looks and presence from his grandsire Strong Gale, who was Strong Promise's sire, and is likely to try to bring back memories at Cheltenham, probably in the Arkle Trophy.

Yesterday's Grade 2 contest was a step up in class and down in distance, and he coped with both perfectly competently, value for more than his length success over Rasharrow. With the fence that would have been the last omitted because of adjacent extra-boggy ground (the meeting went ahead only after overnight snow melted) Lee had to keep busy on the long run-in as the 8-11 favourite, who crossed the line with his ears pricked, began to feel that the job might be done sooner than it was.

But there was nothing dishonest about the horse's attitude. "If the last fence had been there he'd have won by two or three lengths," said Murphy. "He'll go to Cheltenham now for one of the novice races. I guess the Jewson will be out as he'll have too high a handicap mark so the Arkle will be the one.

"He's a classy horse who does stay further, and will be ideal for races like the Paddy Power next season. But he doesn't need emptying this year and the Royal & SunAlliance would be too much for a big, growing frame like his. He's inclined to tank a bit - he forgets that to get from A to Z you have to do B, C and the rest in between - and a faster pace over two miles on better ground will be perfect."

Another Promise, who faced only four rivals after the late withdrawal of Royal Shakespeare because of too-soft ground, remains among the Arkle Trophy outsiders. His stablemate Kitski, though, is likely to start favourite for this afternoon's valuable Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park after significant support yesterday.

The rest of the afternoon here belonged to Tony McCoy, who celebrated his return after treatment for a niggling neck injury with a treble on three hurdlers and the confirmation that he will renew his partnership with the king of the species, Colm Murphy-trained Brave Inca, on Sunday in the AIG Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown. "It looks like being the best two-mile hurdle run so far this season," said the Ulsterman, "and he seems to be just getting better with every run, but that's the pattern with him; he's a big- bodied horse. It's very hard to make negatives about him but if there is a little niggle it may just be the soft ground."

McCoy's trio were Buster Hyvonen, Albertas Run and Basic Fact, the last two trained by Jonjo O'Neill, who was also on the mark with Parkinson here and, at Catterick, High Calibre, for a 155-1 four-timer.

At the northern track the former smart hurdler Faasel put his own Arkle Trophy marker down with a smooth eight-length chasing debut victory. The venue was also the scene of a narrowly-averted farce as judge Alastair Stewart called the wrong winner after a tight finish to the North Yorkshire Grand National. Happily, he revised his decision before the "weighed-in" was announced and bets were paid out on horses whose names might have been horribly appropriate. Bang And Blame beat Classic Capers a short-head.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Captain Marlon

(Fontwell 2.20)

NB: Stumped

(Warwick 1.10)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Part Time

£10500 - £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Part Time Accounts Assistant ...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant

£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company supply, install an...

Tradewind Recruitment: Reception Teacher

£120 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: An excellent three form entry scho...

The Green Recruitment Company: Commercial Construction Manager

£65000 Per Annum bonus & benefits package: The Green Recruitment Company: The ...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'