RANDOX GRAND NATIONAL FESTIVAL NEWS: ZENTA JUSTIFIES 5-4 FAVOURITISM IN JEWSON ANNIVERSARY 4YO HURDLE
Thursday 13th April
The filly Zenta (5-4 Favourite) built on her excellent third in last month’s JCB Triumph Hurdle to record her first Grade One success in the Jewson Anniversary 4YO Hurdle.
Mark Walsh, the winning jockey on Zenta (5-4 Favourite), commented: “I honestly didn’t know (if we had got there), I was asking Jamie (Moore, on Bo Zenith) and he didn’t know either. If we’d have been beaten it would have been my own fault as I got her to the front too soon.
"She was travelling great and winged the last and I landed in front so I sent her on. I couldn’t really peg her back, but I know in future to hold onto her. She’s still very green and still learning in front of a big crowd today so I know a bit more about her now. She ran really well in the Triumph so she’s taken a step forward today and Willie (Mullins) and David Casey have done a grand job with her.”
Frank Berry, racing manager to Zenta’s owner JP McManus: “She was very good there. She jumped well and she liked the ground. Mark gave her a very good ride. You couldn’t ask for better.
“The runner-up made her work hard, but she was brave and stuck her head out at the right time. Watching it live we thought she had been beaten, but she hit the line well. We are delighted for her.
“She ran very well in the Triumph and had obviously come out of the race well. She’ll have an entry at Punchestown and we’ll see what Willie says and how she comes out of the race, but she’s a good tough filly.”
Olly Harris, owner of runner-up Bo Zenith, said: “I thought we had it but his head was up on the line unfortunately. I’m gutted but he has still run a blinder. He is a proper horse and he will be a really good two and a half mile chaser.
“We have looked after him and he is a proper horse. I thought he had a massive chance but you are obviously scared of Willie Mullins horse (Zenta) as it finished third in the Triumph Hurdle. We always knew we were going to have to kick turning in as he has got a bit more of a staying pedigree and Zenta had a bit more speed than us.
“When he battled back I thought we had it. He is a lovely horse for the future. We will put him away now and go again next season. I think Bo Zenith and Willmount are the two best horses I own. If you ran them both together I’m not sure who would win that one but they are both proper horses.”
Joseph O’Brien, trainer of the third Nurset, said: “He ran very well. Three high-class juveniles, and his run style is always vulnerable to the pace not being fast in front of him, and we could have done with a faster pace.
"But Daryl gave him a great ride, and we’re very proud of his run. He finished off his race well, which is great to see. We’ll see how he comes out of his race, and we’ll consider Punchestown.”
2.20pm Jewson Anniversary 4YO Juvenile Hurdle
1 Zenta (FR) 5/4 Fav
2 Bo Zenith (FR) 6/1
3 Nusret 6/1