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.

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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory