Missile fails to stop Hill's march to Festival - Sport - The Independent

Missile fails to stop Hill's march to Festival

They both blew in from the westernmost reaches of Britain; they left with Wincanton's Cheltenham trials under their belt and, in the case of Coome Hill, with the real thing, the Gold Cup at the Festival, in his sights.

Coome Hill, who warms up on the beach at Bude when the weather is at its worst, and Dreams End, who was dispatched to the Somerset track from Peter Bowen's yard at Haverfordwest, by the Pembrokeshire coast, came to racing's heartland and strode away with two of the final recognised trials for Cheltenham, which is now less than three weeks away.

Coome Hill, was the one who really impressed, although his winning margin over Unguided Missile in the Jim Ford Chase was only a length and a quarter. Despite the track being too sharp, the going too fast and lacking full fitness after an uncharacteristic fall on his previous start had robbed him of a valuable workout, Coome Hill made the running and galloped his rivals into the ground.

Even though the winner was receiving 6lb from Unguided Missile, who is no more than an outsider for the Gold Cup himself, the bookmakers were sufficiently impressed to cut his odds for chasing's Blue Riband. Coome Hill is now a top-priced 7-1 with Ladbrokes and the race's sponsor, the Tote.

Walter Dennis, who was returning to Bude to "feed the bullocks and see the sheep" left full of hope that his imposing bay can make his mark at the Festival. "He will be better going left-handed around Cheltenham as this tight track would not have suited him," Dennis said.

"I think he will be better for this race as I haven't done a lot with him at home. It was a difficult time after his fall at Sandown as that put a bit of a cloud over things.

Dennis had not expected his charge to dominate the race. "I explained to Jamie [Osborne, his jockey] how I'd like the horse ridden, but out there it was up to him as he knows him so well and knew he'd stay forever."

Osborne reasoned: "We all realised this horse could get beaten if it became a sprint and it made sense to make the running. I was very pleased with him and he's going to be very hard to get to the bottom of. I'm sure the Gold Cup and Grand National distances will suit.

"I went out there hoping Woody [Richard Dunwoody, on Unguided Missile) was going to make it a gallop but going to the first he's just sat there with the handbrake on, so I thought I'd go on."

Whatever he achieves at Cheltenham, yesterday's success makes Coome Hill look rather well handicapped for the Grand National with just 10st 6lb and he was promoted to 10-1 favourite for the race with William Hill and Ladbrokes. Coral offer 12-1. Osborne added: "If he doesn't win the Gold Cup, the Grand National will be a hell of a consolation."

Unguided Missile was not disgraced and will now join his stablemates One Man, Addington Boy and The Grey Monk in the Gold Cup line-up according to Nicky Richards, the son of the quartet's trainer, Gordon

A copper and magnesium deficiency was diagnosed as the reason for Dreams End's poor recent form but he seemed to have found a new, rich seam of form in taking the Champion Hurdle trial, the Kingwell Hurdle. The 16- 1 shot galloped eight lengths clear of Romancer to earn a Cheltenham quote of 40-1 from William Hill.

"He's run well and will take his chance at Cheltenham now, but it's not really his track," a slightly downbeat Bowen said.

Cheltenham Gold Cup (13 March)

Tote: 9-2 Imperial Call, 5-1 Dorans Pride, 11-2 Danoli, 7-1 (from 8-1) Coome Hill, 9-1 Dublin Flyer, One Man, 12-1 Mr Mulligan, The Grey Monk, 14-1 Addington Boy, Cyborgo, 16-1 Nahthen Lad, 20-1 (from 33-1), Unguided Missile, 25-1 Banjo, 33-1 others

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
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

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

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
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week