RED HOT CHILLY PRODUCES SPICY PERFORMANCE
The Fergal O'Brien-trained Red Hot Chilly caused a 33/1 upset in the Swanee River Supports Countryside Alliance Novices' Handicap Hurdle.
Ridden by Paddy Brennan, the five-year-old son of Frozen Power took the lead with a powerful run approaching the home straight towards the outside of the field and he held on well in the closing stages to score by a length and a quarter from 7/1 shot My Brother, trained by Neil Mulholland, in second.
Brennan said: "I always thought Red Hot Chilly would be better suited by a fast-run race.
"It did not quite go to plan as I was there sooner than I wanted to be, but I knew he was race-fit and he has seen it out well.
"Myself, Alain Cawley and Harry Skelton sit together. We all walked the track and were of the same opinion [about going wide]. I knew they were in my wing mirror but most of all I knew Noel Fehily [rider of My Brother] was challenging me in behind and he was a danger.
"Red Hot Chilly was an outsider and it was easy to ride him like that."
1.15pm Swanee River Supports Countryside Alliance Novices' Handicap Hurdle 2m 87y
1 Red Hot Chilly (Mr & Mrs A J Mutch) Fergal O'Brien 5-11-01 Paddy Brennan 33/1
2 My Brother (B G Racing Partnership) Neil Mulholland 5-10-10 Noel Fehily 7/1
3 Voodoo Doll (R E R Williams) Evan William 5-11-04 Miss Isabel Williams (7) 18/1
4 Guido Reni (Gary Ryan) Karl Thornton IRE 4-10-10 Robert Colgan 50/1
5/2 Fav Dostal Phil (10th)
Distances: 1¼, 1½, hd
Tote Win: £32.30 Places: £5.80 £2 £4 Exacta: £357.10
FERGAL FINDS SOME HOT FORM
Red Hot Chilly's success at 33/1 in the Swanee River Supports Countryside Alliance Novices' Handicap Chase was a welcome surprise to local trainer Fergal O'Brien.
The five-year-old has had a busy summer campaign - this was his ninth run since May 27 - but hasn't won since July 9 at Worcester. Today he beat the fancied My Brother, trained by Neil Mulholland, by a length and a quarter under Paddy Brennan.
"This was going to be Red Hot Chilly's last run and then he was going to come back novice chasing next spring/summer," said O'Brien. "He was disappointing last time at Wincanton, but we probably ran him a bit soon - Paddy said he was a bit flat. Today really suited him and well done to everyone at home who kept him fresh and well, and probably kept me away from him so I couldn't gallop the brains out of him!
"The owners [Mr and Mrs Mutch] are local people - from Witney - so we will really enjoy today. It's lovely because they've had this fella a long time and have persevered with him. I'm delighted with him and for them.
"He's been a model of consistency all summer and has been on the go a long time. If we had finished in the first eight or 10 today I'd have been delighted, but Paddy has always had a lot of faith in him. We saw today that Paddy sometimes gets it right as well!"
BROTHER NOT QUITE RED HOT ENOUGH
Red Hot Chilly proved too quick for his rivals when landing the Swanee River Supports Countryside Alliance Novices' Handicap Hurdle, but My Brother was reeling him in after the final flight.
The winner (33/1) won by one and a quarter lengths and one and a half lengths from My Brother (7/1) and Voodoo Doll (18/1), with Guido Reni (50/1) finishing fourth of the 20 runners.
My Brother, who has not been out of the first four in four races over jumps, seemed to suffer in a bit of barging on the home turn, but jockey Noel Fehily said: "A lot of us were still in a bunch at that point, but I didn't think it was too bad."
The gelding's trainer, Neil Mulholland, who was bidding for a quick double following The Young Master's first-race victory, said of My Brother: "He's very consistent, tough and genuine, and we're just hoping he gets his head in front one day. He's running well and our other horses are, too. On the final bend he looked a little unlucky, but that was no excuse for defeat by the winner. Now I just hope the handicapper isn't too hard on my horse."
South Wales trainer Evan Williams welcomed back Voodoo Doll, who was ridden by his 7lb claiming, daughter Isabel, who is an amateur rider. Williams senior said: "He's a fine horse - I once thought he was useless because he didn't show anything last season on soft ground, and he's not very big, but he came to life on better ground. It must be riding fairly quick for him to perform that well.
"This wasn't a very deep race, but there are plenty of races around the likes of Musselburgh, Doncaster, Taunton and Ludlow where he can run through the winter and pick up decent prize money. He's a funny old devil, and has looked reluctant when hard ridden, but he's probably a horse that is now best dropped in with Isabel on board. They get on well together.
"Isabel is a real asset to me at the yard - she's 21 now and rides for fun. I don't think she will try to become a conditional jockey."