29 October 2022

Ahoy Senor team left to regroup after Charlie Hall disappointment

29 October 2022

Lucinda Russell was unable to offer an immediate excuse after Ahoy Senor’s disappointing return to action in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby.

Having rounded off an excellent novice campaign with an emphatic Grade One victory at Aintree in the spring, the seven-year-old was well-supported as the 11-10 favourite for his reappearance in the first recognised Gold Cup trial of the season.

But while his old foe Bravemansgame flourished to confirm himself a leading contender for the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, Ahoy Senor made a few mistakes in the jumping department under a positive ride and weakened from the home turn to finish a tailed-off last of five runners.

Given Ahoy Senor has previously beaten Bravemansgame twice at Aintree, and finished second to him in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton last Christmas, it is clear he did not run up to form – and Russell is eyeing possible redemption back at Aintree on December 3.

“Derek (Fox) said he was a bit fresh and a bit free. I’m just delighted he’s back safe, that’s the important thing,” said the Kinross handler.

“He looks fine and we’ll see how he is over the next few days and see how we go. Derek said he was just fresh and free and took his energy away really.

“I think we’ll stick with the plans we had and go to Aintree next for the Many Clouds Chase.”

With Ahoy Senor failing to fire, the horse to finish best of the rest behind Bravemansgame was the Joe Tizzard-trained Eldorado Allen.

Winner of the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter and the Denman Chase at Newbury last season, the grey was conceding 3lb to his conqueror and was beaten three and a half lengths.

Tizzard said: “It was a nice first run. I thought he’d travel better than he did – he was a bit flat out turning in and has galloped right through the line.

“Any doubts we had about the trip, I think he’s put them to bed, so with a run under our belt we can probably ride him a bit more aggressively another day.

“I think he’ll get an entry in the Betfair Chase at Haydock. We’ve got three weeks and I’m sure he’ll improve from today.

“It could turn out to be a good run giving them a bit of weight and I liked the way he galloped through the line.”

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