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)

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam