Chomba on Champion beat

A third musketeer has appeared in the ranks of Champion Hurdle contenders in Nicky Henderson's yard. The Lambourn trainer already has the ante-post favourite, Binocular, and last season's third, Punjabi, under his care, and yesterday at Wincanton Chomba Womba staked her claim for consideration for the Cheltenham crown with a thoroughly efficient defeat of Takeroc and the reigning champion, Katchit.

The mare is racing this term becauseshe did not take to motherhood, having failed to get in foal to leading sire Presenting. But though Henderson thinks the world of her, he was not getting carried away by her comeback; she was, after all, receiving 18lb from Katchit. "She's a very good mare," said Henderson, "but we must remember she was getting a lot of weight. We've seen what speed she's got, though, and we'll have to do a lot more thinking about her future now."

Chomba Womba, bought by her owners, Richard and Lizzie Kelvin Hughes, for £160,000 18 months ago, was beaten last season only in the mares' contest at the Festival in March. With no sign of ring-rustiness yesterday, her hurdling under Barry Geraghty was slick and, after covering the brisk pace set by Takeroc, she quickened smartly away after the last to win by three-and-a-quarter lengths.

Katchit was a further six lengths back in third, staying on typically gamely under his burden after being under pressure from Choc Thornton for more than half the race, but Alan King was not disheartened. "We knew he faced an impossible task at the weights," said the trainer, "but he needed more match practice before Cheltenham next month." In an increasingly open Champion Hurdle market, Katchit was eased and ChombaWomba introduced at around 20-1.

Though Takeroc went under, seven of his Paul Nicholls stablemates succeeded – Tchico Polos (5-4), Oracle des Mottes (3-1), impressive novice chaser Breedsbreeze (4-6), Cornish Sett (12-1) and Express Leader (2-1) scored at Wincanton, and Free World (5-4) and Take The Breeze (9-2) won at Sandown.

After the Flat season's last-day feature, the November Handicap at Doncaster, went to David Arbuthnot, Martin Dwyer and 20-1 shot Tropical Strait, just £50-worth of tickets remained chasing the £1.3m Tote Scoop 6 pool. Cornish Sett's last-stride nose victory reduced that to two. Their holders hopes were dashed when neither Axiom nor Flipando could win the last leg at Doncaster, but a record pot, likely to top £3m, will now be up for grabs at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Last year Seb Sanders and Jamie Spencer dead-heated for the senior Flat jockeys' crown; this time it was the apprentices David Probert and William Buick who tied for their title, each ending the season on 50 winners. Probert came close to pipping his friend, who was sitting out a suspension yesterday, when narrowly beatenin the Doncaster opener on his only ride of the day.

The most appropriate winner of the day was Harry Patch in the nursery on Town Moor. The Michael Jarvis-trained two-year-old is named after the 110-year-old from Somerset who is the last British survivor of the battle of Passchendaele, and who will be at the Cenotaph on Tuesday on the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teacher Required in Grays

£21000 - £40000 per annum + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 tea...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee