Go Native: Hurdler dies after breaking leg on gallops

 

It is no trite ambition, seeing such good horses venture onto such awful ground, to ask only that the likes of Long Run and Finian’s Rainbow complete their comebacks tomorrow in one piece.

For if a loss as harrowing as the one endured by Noel Meade today can occur in such innocuous circumstances, then Nicky Henderson will surely settle for seeing two of the top steeplechasers in Britain back at Seven Barrows tonight with their heads in the manger.

Meade watched dumbstruck as Go Native, probably the best horse in his care, broke a leg in the course of a routine canter up a freshly harrowed gallop. It was only last Sunday that Go Native had walked serenely away from far more obvious peril, having fallen at the last as he challenged Hurricane Fly at Punchestown. That run had deceived Meade and his patrons that their patience with Go Native, sidelined for two years after starting favourite for the 2010 Champion Hurdle, might yet be rewarded back at Cheltenham in March. “We’re all in a state of shock,” Meade said. “Completely devastated.”

Against that tragic backdrop, you can only pray that the Betfair Chase at Haydock sustains the life-affirming quality of storylines that stretch across the spectrum – from Henderson’s hugely powerful stable, in the Corinthian partnership of Long Run and his amateur rider, Sam Waley-Cohen; to the tiny one of David Bridgwater, whose opinion of The Giant Bolster was vindicated by that spectacular second in the Gold Cup, at 50-1.

Whether either of these horses can be at their peak, in such demanding conditions first time out, is questionable. Long Run has been beaten on his reappearance in the last two seasons, and just needs to lay down some kind of marker for those who perceived an incipient decline in a somewhat less dominant campaign last winter.

As Waley-Cohen himself has remarked, Long Run is in transition from pretender to old guard – but one thing never seems to change. For Paul Nicholls is once again on his case. This time he brings Kauto Star back only on parade, but he hopes that his retired champion could yet be emulated by SILVIANICO CONTI (3.05).

Still only six, this horse began his second season over fences in impeccable fashion at Wetherby, and his accurate and aggressive jumping will permit Long Run little margin for error if conditions start to take their toll. There have been times, in what remains a light career, when Silviniaco Conti has hinted at elite potential – and it may simply be that he is piecing everything together now.

One of those occasions was when he won the Coral Hurdle at Ascot, two years ago. Oscar Whisky will be short odds for the latest running, having looked sure to go close when falling at the final flight last year, but a turn of foot could be a decisive asset for RAYA STAR (2.45) on this ground, and in this small field.

Henderson continued his intimidating form with a treble at the track yesterday, but these remain no more than early skirmishes for his big guns. Finian’s Rainbow, for instance, is much the best horse in the Amlin Chase but giving 10lbs to CAPTAIN CHRIS (2.10) in conditions so inimical to his brilliance will not be easy.

Back at Haydock, the Betfair Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle has once again been targeted by David Pipe, who saddled Grands Crus and Dynaste to win the last two runnings. Katkeau and Knight Pass are new recruits who could also prove ahead of the game. Barafundle is also interesting, just 3lbs higher than when he chased home Grands Crus, but SAPHIR RIVER (2.30) made a good start for his new yard the other day and was placed in Grade One company in France at this trip only a year ago.

Turf Account

Nap: Annelko (9.20 Wolverhampton)

NB: Quartz De Thaix (2.0 Haydock)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

News
i100
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

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album