Riverside back in limelight with Peterborough win

 

Jumping returns to its spiritual home at the natural amphitheatre in the Cotswolds today, for the latest instalment in the all-consuming soap opera whose denouement comes at the Cheltenham Festival next March, but the man-made arena quarried out at Huntingdon provided a theatre of dreams for a day when one of Nicky Henderson's old stagers revived past glories in the Grade Two Peterborough Chase.

Riverside Theatre, runner-up to Long Run in the King George VI Chase three seasons ago and three times a Grade One winner since, most recently in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham in March last year, had seemed a light of other days in the intervening season, labouring to heavy defeat in the King George and then at the spring festivals.

But a wind operation and the chance to race on the sound surface he favours were enough to revive a chaser still only nine years old to produce a dour performance under Barry Geraghty wearing down Champion Court for a half-length victory.

"Down the back it didn't look great, but Barry said at the second-last he knew he would win," Henderson said. "It hasn't been easy, we had his breathing done, then he cut himself and that put him back. We've been trying everything under the sun with him – new rug, new girth, new everything!"

The trainer, looking ahead to the King George in 13 days' time, added: "Two and a half around here is too sharp for him now, he wants three miles. I don't know about the King George, he's in there, and I'm not going to say we wouldn't, but we'll see."

Champion Court and Captain Chris, a neck behind in third, are also in the King George. The latter, second at Kempton last year, emerged with credit conceding weight all round, but this season's race comes soon enough after this hard-fought contest.

Another of Henderson's old warriors, Burton Port, second in an RSA Chase and Hennessy Gold Cup and fourth in the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup, is also still only nine, despite a career curtailed by injury. Now with Jonjo O'Neill after 16 months off, he carries top weight in the Grade Three handicap chase at Cheltenham. But he has shown little sparkle in two runs for his new yard and must give 3lb to a rival who was third in the Hennessy as recently as 13 days ago, Theatre Guide.

Colin Tizzard's six-year-old remains fairly treated off just 2lb higher, but his only previous run at Cheltenham, when he was pulled up, sounds a note of caution. Aimigayle (2.10 Cheltenham), lightly raced in recent seasons, has given a fair account over hurdles this autumn but is a better chaser and was fourth in the Topham Trophy off 5lb higher on her most recent start over fences just five runs ago. She has good course form and will enjoy the sound surface.

In the novice chase, Oscar Whisky will have to jump a good deal better than at the last meeting to contain Wonderful Charm (12.30 Cheltenham).

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
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 Portfolio Analyst - Prince2

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a glob...

Project Co-ordinator - Birmingham - Permanant

£20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Head of Maths

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Head of Maths position at a prestigious ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week