Storm Control produced a tremendous front-running display in the South West Syndicate Handicap Chase as the owner/trainer/jockey combination responsible for last year’s Paddy Power Gold Cup heroine Happy Diva enjoyed another winner at The November Meeting.
The Kerry Lee-trained seven-year-old, racing in the colours of Will Roseff, was making a first appearance in excess of three miles but revelled over the new trip when making all under Richard Patrick.
An impressive round of jumping saw Storm Control put most of his rivals under pressure on the second circuit. After a rare error at the penultimate fence, the 5/1 chance rallied bravely to come home three-quarters of a length ahead of Bermeo, who flew home to pip Lamanver Pippin for second.
Kerry Lee said: “I am chuffed to bits. That was quite a bold ride, wasn't it, from Richard Patrick? But it paid off. It was quite a bold shout to send him over three miles and a furlong here, at the stiffest track in the country.
“Something Danny Cook said after he rode him earlier in the season [made her decide to step him up in trip], and I didn't want to miss this opportunity - because of Covid, the race was changed from amateur riders to amateurs and conditionals, and Richard Patrick still claims his 3lb and I thought it was an opportunity not to be missed, so here we are.
“Storm Control is a lovely horse - a great big athletic gelding. He has struggled with his wind over the years; he's definitely a top of the ground horse, and I think the weather gods were in our favour and have waited until now.”
Richard Patrick said: “Storm Control was perfect round there. He was stepping up in trip, but he just managed to travel and jump like he was over two miles.
“Every single time he winged a fence, I was just taking a pull and filling him up. Storm Control saw out the trip really well and it was just perfect. He was always just idling up the straight. He missed the last two fences as he wasn’t doing a lot.
“He is bred to stay, bred to do it, and it is good it is another thing he can do — he can jump and travel over two and a half miles but he can also stay three miles, so that opens up plenty of options which is nice.”
Patrick was partnering his 75th career winner on Storm Control, meaning he is no longer a conditional jockey.
Patrick said: “It was fantastic to ride out my claim today, especially for Kerry [Lee] and Will Roseff, who have supported me from the start, which is brilliant. It’s nice to do it [ride out my claim] and especially here at Cheltenham.”
1.05pm South West Syndicate Handicap Chase (Conditional Jockeys And Amateur Riders) 3m 1f
1 Storm Control – Kerry Lee 7-11-03 Richard Patrick (3) 5/1
2 Bermeo – Johnny Farrelly 9-9-07 Mr Angus Cheleda (7) 15/2
3 Lamanver Pippin – Colin Tizzard 7-11-04 Mr William Biddick (3) 9/2
4/1 fav Kilfilum Cross (PU)
Distances: ¾, nk, 21
Tote Win: £5.40 Places: £2.10 £2.60 £2.20 Exacta: £41 Trifecta: £235.20
Equus Secretus sustained an injury and was sadly humanely euthanised following veterinary advice. Our thoughts are with connections.