Trainer Christian Williams enjoyed an amazing Saturday as Cap Du Nord led home a 1-2 for his Glamorgan-based stable in The Coral Trophy (3m), the feature Grade Three handicap chase at Kempton Park today. The victory capped an unforgettable half hour for Williams, as he also landed the valuable Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle with Win My Wings.
Williams went into The Coral Trophy, which in 2022 offered record prize of £150,000, three-handed with 6/1 joint-favourite Five Star Getaway as well Cap Du Nord (13-2) and Kitty’s Light (16-1). Five Star Getaway was the first to come under pressure four fences from home and he weakened to eventually come home eighth. Meanwhile Cap Du Nord, who had been settled midfield, was beginning to make eye-catching headway and he moved into the lead approaching the second last. The nine year old kept finding more and stayed on well to hold off the late challenge of stablemate Kitty’s Light and take the prize by two and three quarter lengths under Jack Tudor.
Christian Williams said: “I thought he would run well. That was great. Horses just come into themselves. Kitty’s Light just struggled through the winter and has just come into himself while Win My Wings was hard to get right in the heart of the winter.
“When you have good owners and good staff at home, there will be a certain time of the season they come right. We usually finish the season well. I’m not sure if it is where we train from. We’ve good owners and good staff and they come good in the end and we’ve seen proof in the last two weeks that they are starting to come right.
“Cap Du Nord deserved that and no one can take that away from him. The owner (The Can't Say No Partnership) wanted to go to Carlisle on Monday to run in a qualifier for Haydock but we managed to put him off and six days later he is winning this race. To get in this race off 127 we were a little bit lucky.
“Coral supported the race and we wanted to support it with the prize money that they put on. We’ve run the three in the race to support the sponsors.
“The reason we employ Jack is we know what he is capable of doing. We let him go out there. We saw two years ago (Welsh National) how good he is. You can see on days like today how cool he is and he can ride far and above his age. He is top-class.
“We thought it was a tricky one. Jack’s favourite horse is probably Kitty’s Light. I had to persuade him towards this one today. I knew Kitty was in good form and Jack texted me an aeroplane last week when Kitty did a piece of work.
“This would be Cap Du Nord’s track and not Kitty’s track but he ran a great race as well. I’ve not spoken to Nick (Scholfield) yet but Five Star Getaway has had some hard races this season and the ground was probably quick enough for him.
“I’m not sure what we do next. We thought Cap Du Nord was good enough to run in these races last season and he got beat five lengths in the bet365 Gold Cup off a higher mark so we have never shied away from bigger races with him. We will find a race in three or four weeks and go again. Brian (Hughes) thought the Scottish National might be right for Kitty’s Light.”
Jack Tudor added: “Kitty’s Light I’ve always held in high regard and I think he is probably the best horse we train. With the weight and everything, I think it was more in Cap Du Nord’s favour today which lent me towards him.
“It wasn’t a great feeling when I looked over at two out and saw Kitty’s Light was half a length down on me but luckily we kicked on after two out and pinged the last and it has worked out brilliantly. He always runs very well in these big races and today everything has fallen into place for him and he has finally had his day in the sun.
“I love these staying chasers and Christian is very good at training them. The way we ride them it tends to suit the horses. It is brilliant and definitely up there with one of my best days. I was always confident I was going well and I knew that he would keep galloping. He was travelling and jumping well and I knew half way down the back I was in the right position and it was then just a case of he was good enough from two out. Luckily it worked out so I can’t complain.”