Souffleur impresses with Challow victory
Sunday 30 December 2007
In winning the Challow Hurdle at Newbury, Souffleur has some impressive hoofprints to follow. Two seasons ago none other than Denman took the novices' Group One prize, last year it was Wichita Lineman, and before them the likes of Cornish Rebel, Bindaree, Large Action and Bonanza Boy.
So this is a race with a distinguished pedigree, and the way Souffleur dealt with his rivals yesterday he won by six lengths from Elusive Dream suggests he too will go on to better things. The four-year-old's name is French for prompter (his sire is In The Wings), but he needed few reminders from Tom O'Brien as he cruised into the lead going to the penultimate obstacle.
"I probably got there a bit soon," said the rider, "but he followed through his effort all the way to the line."
Souffleur has made remarkable progress since being recruited from the Flat 14 months ago for a bargain 5,000 guineas. He has won four of his seven hurdle races, has risen more than 3st in the ratings, and now has the Ballymore Properties Hurdle at Cheltenham as his target.
"He was very slow to get going over hurdles," said his owner-trainer, Peter Bowen. "Very green to start with and it took him a while to get the hang of it. Now he is a real professional."
That Souffleur may be but, with just the 11 outings, he is only an embryonic one compared with the battle-hardened, top-class types who faced each other in the December Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown. Before yesterday the six runners had raced 151 times between them for 49 victories and earnings of 2,112,853. On this occasion it was Al Eile, driven by Timmy Murphy to tackle thetrailblazing Hardy Eustace and the favourite, Jazz Messenger, going to the last, who prevailed.
It was the seven-year-old's third Grade One success, but his first at two miles. "He's been up against all the good horses since he was three," said his trainer, John Queally. "This year he's the real deal." Hardy Eustace, the winner of two Champion Hurdles, has his official 11th birthday on Tuesday and lost no caste in his length defeat. He deprived Jazz Messenger of second by a neck and took his career haul to over 1 million.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 3 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 4 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
- 5 How much sex should I be having?
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: These refrigeration specialists...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an operational role and...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working within the workshop of ...
£20000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist high tech compa...