Owner Mark Dunphy is beginning to dream of aiming his pride and joy Do Your Job at bigger prizes following his debut victory over fences at Warwick, but admitted watching the win was “the most nervous I’ve been” at a racecourse.
Having signed off last season finishing second in the Grade One Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, the Michael Scudamore-trained seven year old went one better on his switch to fences in the Jewson Stan Mellor Memorial Novices’ Chase.
The 3-1 chance had his task made easier in the two mile contest, which was claimed last year by subsequent Grade One winner Allmankind, when leader For Pleasure fell at the fourth last, bringing down favourite Edwardstone in the process.
Kept up to his work over the final three fences the gelded son of Fame And Glory found more than enough to repel Nickolson, who was the only other finisher, by a length and a half.
Following the race Do Your Job was introduced by SkyBet at 50-1 for the Sporting Life Arkle at this season’s Cheltenham Festival.
Dunphy said: “I just wanted to see him enjoy it and come back safe and sound and then we can plot things ahead.
“We didn’t shy away from any of those good horses like My Drogo and Metier last season. To take on a 150 rated horse first time out wasn’t the plan but thank God he jumped beautifully.
“I’ve owned about 30-odd racehorses and this was the most nervous I’ve been as I’ve loved this horse from day one.
“I fell in love with this horse the day I got him at the sales. The bond was there straight away when he stuck his head over the stable door.
“I wouldn’t swap this horse for the world and I’ve already turned a lot of big money down for him.
“Michael said ‘this could be the best horse I’ve ever trained’, but I think this horse is proving Michael right and we don’t know where we can go.”
Herefordshire handler Scudamore added: “It is hard to know quite what to make of it but I’m really pleased with him. I thought he jumped well enough and his jumping got better as he warmed up through the race.
“He hadn’t had the cleanest run coming into today and I think he will come on a lot for today.
“The most obvious one to compare him to is Next Sensation who was a Grand Annual winner. They are very similar builds but mentally they are different as Next Sensation was wild and he is very relaxed and sensible.
“In terms of natural ability he is probably the best horse we have had from that angle. He has just got to keep proving it on track now.”
As for immediate plans Scudamore intends to take small steps with Do Your Job before stepping him back up in class.
He added: “I suppose in an ideal world we will look for something similar next time and if he is good enough then start to get a bit more excited around Christmas. Two miles is his trip.
“He mixed it in some good race last season and he wasn’t found wanting too much in those.”
In This World (11-10) saw his odds for the JCB Triumph Hurdle tumble following his impressive success in the Jewson Leamington Rugby Road Juvenile Hurdle. However, connections already have one on eye on his career off the track.
The Dan Skelton-trained son of Saint Des Saints was trimmed into 14-1 by SkyBet for the Grade One prize at the Festival following his six length victory in the two mile event, which stablemate Allmankind landed in 2019.
Grace Skelton, wife of the winning trainer, said: “The way he has performed today clearly shows he is very promising.
“I’m fortunate that Mr and Mrs Kelvin Hughes and Ian and Suzanne Lawrence have come on board with me as the idea is if he continues to show this promise we will keep him entire and stand him at our stud and see if we can make a stallion of him.
“We just stand Dink at the moment, who is Nube Negra’s sire. He has had a really good start and the stud is growing hand over fist and hopefully this lad represents the future of it.”
Assistant trainer Tom Messenger added that an outing at Cheltenham next month could be on the agenda for In This World.
He said: “His form from his race in France is great as the second horse in that race Gordon Elliot has got and that won by 16 lengths.
“He has just picked up a little nick on his leg so we have to see how he is but there is a Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in December and there is the Grade One at Chepstow over Christmas so there are plenty of options.”
Nicky Henderson was as confused as most of those at the track after 3-1 chance Blue Stello was awarded the Franco “Firework” Esposito Is 40 Novices’ Hurdle following a lengthy stewards inquiry.
Blue Stello initially finished second behind Unanswered Prayers until the result was overturned and the Seven Barrows trainer said: “Nico just tried to explain what happened on the phone and after five minutes I didn’t understand a word.
“It sounded to me as if we got knocked over by the third and got given the race. He said after the first bit of the inquiry ‘I think you will get this’.
“To be honest I’m just delighted for the horse as he has got his life in front of him. Win, lose or draw it was going to be a pleasing effort.
“I said to all the owners beforehand this time next year will be the fun time with Blue Stello as fences is his game.”