27 April 2024

Fantastic performance seals Oaksey honours for Lady

27 April 2024

Fantastic Lady put up a smooth display to land the bet365 Oaksey Chase at Sandown.

Third in the race 12 months ago to Hewick, she was having only her fourth outing of the campaign after running well for a long way in the Topham Chase at Aintree over the Grand National fences and having also gone close in the Grand Sefton back in November.

Her trainer Nicky Henderson has endured a pretty miserable spring, but with the team now back firing on all cylinders, he has ended the season strongly and having been dropped out at the rear by Nico de Boinville, Fantastic Lady moved stealthily into contention at the Pond Fence.

A mistake there by The Real Whacker cost him any chance and with Hitman finding little under pressure, she only had Ga Law to beat, which she did by two and a half lengths.

“She is remarkable and we kept her all season for the Topham,” said Henderson.

“She was second in the Topham last year and then came here and was third in this last year and I thought we haven’t got anything else to do, so let’s have a look at it.

“She was really good and Nico said ‘it’s lucky you don’t tie me down (to instruction)’ as the plan was to get up there and go and when it was all happening up front, Nico said he decided to do the complete opposite. Well done to Nico, fair play it was a great piece of riding.”

He went on: “It was great from her to come back so quickly from Aintree, she jumped round there again and finished sixth. She’s a lovely mare and looks great and I was fearing she would be in foal this season, but it looks like she is going to have to play on.

“She jumps like nothing on earth and if you know the farm she has come from, she will have jumped a thousand fences before she came to Seven Barrows.

“Aintree was always our aim. At one stage we were thinking about the Grand National but she wasn’t going to get in – maybe the handicapper will have something to say about it after that and she will get in.”

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