Racing: Random Harvest reaps Rowland reward

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The Independent Online
RANDOM HARVEST put up an immaculate display of jumping at Wetherby yesterday to land the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase. The race was depleted by the defection of The Grey Monk (banged joint) and Colonel In Chief (ground unsuitable).

Random Harvest led or disputed the lead for much of the extended three- mile journey and, by the time he reached the straight for the final time, only The Last Fling remained a serious rival. River Lossie was struggling in third while the favourite Strath Royal had been pulled up.

Random Harvest sealed victory with a super leap at the final fence, beating The Last Fling by an easy seven lengths. Mary Reveley, the winner's trainer, said: "He jumped brilliantly out of the ground and ran them ragged. I did think about the Great Yorkshire Chase [at Doncaster] for him next but he might be the sort of horse who needs to run at tracks with big fences."

At Wincanton, Wayward King ploughed through paddyfield conditions to land the Mid Season chase for the second consecutive year. Tom Dascombe sent the Ron Hodges trained six-year-old to the head of affairs approaching the third last and the combination stuck on gamely in the closing stages to hold Stormy Passage by three lengths. Hodges said: "I think he could be a decent horse who I hope will be good enough to take to the Cheltenham Festival for the Mildmay Of Flete Handicap in March."

At Market Rasen, Young Kenny was the lucky winner of the Lincolnshire National Handicap Chase. The four miles, one furlong handicap was a desperate slog in the mud but favourite backers were on good terms with themselves when Noosa Sound led three out. But a few seconds later there was a gasp from the stand as he made a mistake and unseated his rider, leaving Young Kenny to win from Solo Gent.

In Ireland, His Song readily justified favouritism in the Denny Gold Medal Novice Chase at Leopardstown. The Mouse Morris-trained five-year- old quickened away from the opposition in the hands of Shay Barry and came home eight lengths ahead of Native Estates to earn the Arkle Chase at the same course. Morris said: "We will get the Irish Arkle over us first before we think about Cheltenham."

l There will an inspection at 10.30 at Leicester this morning to decide whether tomorrow's meeting can go ahead.