Racing: Remittance Man's sparkling return

THE biggest cheer of the day, if not the season, was Remittance Man's due when he won the Emblem Chase here yesterday. The 10-year-old returned to competition after injury in sparkling fashion with a three-and- a-half-length defeat of Deep Sensation.

The ovation given to the Nick Henderson-trained gelding left no doubt as to the feelings racing fans accord to a real star. Henderson, with tears in his eyes, was as moved by the warmth of the welcome as the performance of the horse.

Fifteen months ago Remittance Man, then champion two- mile chaser, damaged a tendon in the process of winning at Huntingdon. Since then Henderson has lived on a knife- edge with the injury, a road he travelled in the past with the frail legs of the triple Champion Hurdle-winner See You Then. A delighted Henderson said: 'I honestly expected him to get beaten today, but he has class, and there was no rustiness at all about his jumping.'

Remittance Man, a credit to his trainer and stable lad Ian Majors, stripped trim and well- muscled after his long absence, and in the race put in some exhibition leaps. But Richard Dunwoody, wanting to hone his competitive edge, kept him with the others as the four runners progressed at a fairly moderate pace on the stickyish going.

Deep Sensation and Remittance Man were together at the last and although the Josh Gifford chestnut can be enigmatic in a finish, this time he was simply outrun by a better horse.

Henderson added: 'I wasn't totally happy about running on the soft, but it was the last chance so we had to go. We now must keep our fingers crossed that he stays sound, but he finished well within himself.'

Remittance Man is now favourite in all bookmakers' lists to reclaim his title, lost in absentia to Deep Sensation last year, in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at next month's Cheltenham festival.

The day's richest contest, the Racing Post Handicap Chase, went to the northern raider Antonin after a pulsating finish with five horses in contention at the final fence.

One of them, Rough Quest, came down, leaving Antonin and John Burke to take the initiative from the race specialist Docklands Express. The remarkable 12-year-old, twice a winner and runner-up last year, had led over the second last, but in the end the young legs of Antonin, half his age, had too much strength.

The French challenger The Fellow, backed from 8-1 to 9-2 favourite, ran an excellent Gold Cup trial under top-weight, battling back after being squeezed on the final bend to take third place in a photo from Elfast. The performance earned Antonin, trained at Thirsk by Sue Bramall, a tilt at either the Ritz Club or Kim Muir Handicap Chases at Cheltenham.

Kim Bailey warned that Master Oats, easy winner of the Greenalls Gold Cup transferred from Haydock, will take his place in the Grand National field only if the going is soft. The eight-year-old turned the race into a procession on the second circuit, coming home 15 lengths clear of a staying-on Moorcroft Boy. The winner's Aintree odds were cut to 14-1 from 50-1 by Coral and to 12-1 from 33-1 by Hills.

There were doubles for Norman Williamson, on Master Oats and in the Pendil Novices' Chase on Monsieur Le Cure, and Dunwoody, who opened the day with victory on Balasani in the Rendlesham Hurdle, stalking Cab On Target and pouncing over the last flight.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there