27 April 2024

Impaire Et Passe too good for old rival Langer Dan

27 April 2024

Impaire Et Passe confirmed Aintree placings with Langer Dan in the bet365 Select Hurdle at Sandown.

He won with a degree of authority this time but at the Grand National meeting, Willie Mullins’ six-year-old finished a nose and a neck in front of Dan Skelton’s dual Coral Cup winner.

That did not tell the full story as with Bob Olinger also involved, the three came very close together which forced the stewards to have a look, with many believing Impaire Et Passe was lucky to keep the race.

This time around Paul Townend always looked confident on the 4-5 favourite and as he cruised into contention, his biggest threat looked likely to come from stablemate Sir Gerhard.

Harry Skelton had nursed Langer Dan to within striking distance, however, but he was still a couple of lengths down when he landed on all fours after jumping the last, losing his momentum and eventually going down by two and a quarter lengths, with four lengths back to Sir Gerhard.

“He’s improving for his little break over Cheltenham and that is probably him for the season now,” said Mullins.

“He will probably go novice chasing next season, but he’s back to himself and that was a very good performance.

“I think he will make a nice chaser and I was going to go chasing with him this season. Simon (Munir) and Isaac (Souede) were happy to stay hurdling and at least it has now paid off. It didn’t look like it earlier in the season, but now it has.

“I think moving up in trip has been a big help to him.”

Townend said: “He did things right and going right-handed suited him. He went to sleep and I was just hoping he would come alive when I wanted him and he did.

“He is a lightly-raced horse and is not a flashy horse at home. He wasn’t flashy before his maiden hurdle and surprised us and he keeps it for the track where it matters most.”

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