A Media Luz shows up in more flattering light

There is a world of difference between the midsummer elegance of French Oaks day at Chantilly, to the backdrop of the Grandes Ecuries and petit château, and a wet winter afternoon's jumping in the Cambridgeshire mud alongside the A14. But the pretty filly A Media Luz finally made the transition with her first hurdles victory since her transfer from the stable of Yannick Fouin in Maisons-Laffitte to that of Nicky Henderson in the more robust environment of the Lambourn Downs.

The four-year-old, who had finished a creditable sixth in the Prix de Diane on her last outing in her homeland, has always been highly regarded as an obstacles prospect chez Henderson, but had a somewhat roller-coaster introduction to her new craft. First time out at Cheltenham, she proved too headstrong, running away with no less a rider than Barry Geraghty; next up at Newbury she had the misfortune to come up against her own more talented stablemate Grandouet; and at Kempton last month she was poised for victory only to take a crashing fall.

Here yesterday, though, she restored her reputation as, once again aided by the calming effect of a pair of blue sponge rubber earplugs, she outclassed her four rivals, settling kindly for Geraghty before galloping home powerfully by 18 lengths. All went well, possibly even too well.

Her prime target at next month's Cheltenham Festival is not the Triumph Hurdle, for which Grandouet is favourite, but the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle, for which she has now hardened at the head of the market. "I hope that hasn't screwed up Plan A," Henderson said. "I'm worried that she looked a bit too impressive today. I don't think it was a very good race and I hope the handicapper sees that. I'd rather not run her in the Triumph; the Fred Winter is where she belongs. Grandouet beat her comfortably at Newbury and there's no reason to doubt that form."

A Media Luz provided Henderson with the milestone of his 1,999th domestic jumping winner; the landmark of the 2,000th may be found at Kempton this afternoon, where his three runners include the classy chaser Punchestowns. If it does, it cannot be honoured in time-honoured Seven Barrows style, for in February the trainer takes an annual pledge. "I'd like to have celebrated it when it comes," he said, "but I'd rather not have to wait until next month."

Turf account

Sue Montgomery's Nap

Stormy Weather (3.00 Musselburgh) On the same mark as when fifth at last year's Cheltenham Festival. On ground that suits should be good enough.

Next best

Ravethebrave (4.20 Kempton)

One to watch

Fourjacks (T Easterby) Found one too good on last week's hurdling debut, but only just and will hit the target.

Where the money's going

Ruby Walsh is 11-10 favourite with Ladbrokes to make it four Cheltenham Festival jockey titles in a row.

Chris McGrath's Nap

Sweet Irony (2.35 Kempton)

News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions