HOBBS HAPPY WITH CROOKS
Trainer Philip Hobbs was delighted with the performance of Crooks Peak after the 4/1 shot produced a professional performance to land the Listed High Sheriff of Gloucestershire's Bumper by a length and a half at Cheltenham this afternoon.
The four-year-old came into this race on the back of a debut victory at Newton Abbot last month but his trainer was concerned that ground might be too soft for him this afternoon.
"The ground was a concern," said Hobbs.
"We didn't know if he'd handle it and, because he's a very good-moving horse, we thought it'd be an issue. He coped with it very well indeed though. He was actually too keen to begin with, which is understandable as he's only had the one run in his life. He was professional in front though. My first reaction is that we'll stay in bumpers now.
"I was in two minds after he'd won at Newton Abbot whether to send him over hurdles but, if we keep to bumpers this year, he'll probably be a stronger horse next year."
4.00pm High Sheriff of Gloucestershire's Standard Open NHF Race (Listed Race)
1 CROOKS PEAK (Andy Tilley) Philip Hobbs 4-11-00 Richard Johnson 4/1
2 Air Navigator (Lady Cobham & Doone Hulse) Tom George 6-11-00 Adrian Heskin 4/1
3 Woulduadamandeveit (Keith Harris & Tom Gardner) Susan Gardner 4-11-00 Lucy Gardner 25/1
3/1 Fav Vocarium (7th)
Distances: 1½, 1½
Tote Win: £5.00 Places:£2.00, £2.10, £5.50 Exacta:£22.80
PEAK CLIMBS HIGHEST FOR JOHNSON
Richard Johnson was delighted with the performance of 4/1 shot Crooks Peak who plundered the final race of the 2017 November Meeting, the High Sheriff Of Gloucestershire's Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
The four-year-old son of Arcadio kept on resolutely in the closing stages to master the Tom George-trained Air Navigator (4/1) to score by a length and a half.
Champion Jump jockey Johnson said: "We were a little bit concerned about the ground as we just weren't sure whether he would like the going as it was decent ground when he won at Newton Abbot and he is quite a light-framed horse, but he coped with the conditions well.
"He handled the ground well and he showed a good attitude in the closing stages. He is enthusiastic but did relax down the back-straight.
"Crooks Peak is only a young horse but he did it well.
"You never get a poor bumper at this meeting and I think sticking to bumpers this season before going novice hurdling next year is the sensible route."
HESKIN STEERS NAVIGATOR INTO SECOND
Air Navigator filled second place in the closing race of The November Meeting, the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire's Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.
The six-year-old son of Yeats won on his only other appearance on a racecourse, at Exeter in February, and finished a length and a half behind winner Crooks Peak today at odds of 4/1.
Trainer Tom George said: "He's a beautiful horse. He has taken a long time to mature, and he was bred by [owner] Lady Cobham who has always said, 'Don't run him if you're not happy with him' and has given him loads of time to mature. But he's a real one for the future."
He was ridden by Adrian Heskin, who said: "Lovely horse. Tom has done very well to win a bumper with him and he'll go on now over hurdles, hopefully."
Third was 25/1 chance Woulduadamandeveit, trained by Susan Gardner and ridden by Lucy Gardner. To view a replay of the race, please click here -http://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/video/20171119/2730251/16368071