Our Power (11-2) went two places better than his 2022 finishing position when landing the £150,000 Coral Trophy at Kempton Park today.
The Sam Thomas-trained eight year old came into today’s three-mile Premier Handicap chase having finished third behind the reopposing Cap Du Nord 12 months’ ago. The Power gelding had landed the Grade Three London Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot on his seasonal reappearance back in October.
Flegmatik looked to have today’s contest in the bag when going into a clear lead two fences from home but Sam Twiston-Davies had the leader in his sights aboard Our Power, who came with a tremendous run after the last to get up and score by a neck.
Twiston-Davies, winning his third Coral Trophy after Rocky Creek (2015) and Wait (2019), said: “I’m delighted for (the owners) Dai (Walters), James and Jean (Potter) who are fantastic supporters of mine and massive supporters of the game as well.
“He was fantastic early season and that was the last time he ran. Fair play to Sam as they had to get him right and fit and well when things haven’t been quite so right.
“He is a very likeable horse to ride. He is incredibly straightforward, he wouldn’t be the biggest, but he is quite bold at times. He got into a good rhythm. Sam was quite keen to keep him out of trouble as in some of his races he got himself into a sticky situation.
“He is in the National which is the dream. He is 62 on the list I think so he needs a few to come out but off that he looks quite well-handicapped. I’d say he would be a good spin in the National as he is very accurate and he is very neat and he has a little bit of pace so you can travel.
“I will leave the hard decisions to the bosses that be. He was a good third in this last year and a good fifth in the Ultima last year. The dream would be the National as it is the biggest jump horse race you can go to. He would look well handicapped but whether you are getting on at 62 on the list is a hard question with limited entries. He would be a lovely ride that’s for sure.
“Halfway down the back I thought I might be a good sixth, then I was thinking fourth or fifth might be alright, then when I got through into third, I thought you never know what might be. We winged two out and I was praying for one at the last and then he was good and quick and thankfully he was in front when it matters.”
Winning trainer Sam Thomas, who will be at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff for today’s Wales v England Six Nations rugby match later today, said: “The horses have been wrong since November time. Credit to the team and the owners for being very patient as it has been a tough few months. It is good to be back on the scoresheet and this is a nice race to win.
“I’ve got no real faith in the runners at the moment just with how the form of the yard is. However, this lad stays forever. I was a bit worried down the back straight but when I saw him turning in, I was quietly confident.
“Although it was a sharp three miles we know he stays well and I was hopeful he would get there in the end but a lot had to be taken on trust with how the horses have been performing.
“He would have run in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury but he had a little setback and we had no other option but to train him for this, which is a fantastic race itself.
“I’d say he would be doubtful to get in at Aintree so it will Cheltenham for the Ultima then he will either go for the Scottish National or the bet365 Gold Cup.”
Dan Skelton, trainer of runner-up Flegmatik, said: “I’m gutted. What can you say? We had a plan to pull that off all season.
“It was a terrible run at Sandown, I don’t know why and that knocked our enthusiasm a bit for today. The horse has run a great race.
“He clearly loves it around here but it is gutting to get beat. Fair play to the winner, he was off the bridle halfway down the back straight, but he has kept on.”