Arguably the most competitive race of the meeting produced the biggest shock of the Festival as veteran MISTER MCGOLDRICK turned back the clock to land this valuable handicap in hugely impressive fashion.
The winner spread-eagled the field running down the hill for the final time, turning the race into a procession, and the eventual winning distance was 13 lengths, with a further 11 lengths back to the third.
This was Mister McGoldrick’s finest moment since finishing third in the 2006 Queen Mother, but the handicapper is likely to have his say as a result and he may struggle to win again in the near future.
If you take the winner out of the race then Gwanako would have been an equally impressive winner. This was just his third run over fences and he looks sure to improve with time / experience. He looks like one to follow next season especially given his powerful connections.
Fundamentalist also ran a blinder in third, as this was his second run at the Festival in the space of just 48 hours. He has at last started to fulfil the immense promise he first showed when winning the Sun Alliance Novices Hurdle at the 2004 Festival.
Bible Lord, in fourth, spoilt his chances with some iffy jumping. He remains well enough handicapped to win a big prize next season.
Another Festival favourite, Palarshan, flew up the hill in his customary fashion to take fifth, whilst Boychuk (sixth) ran his usual race, dropping out of condition when the pace started to quicken before rallying when the contest was all but over – he is becoming increasingly frustrating and difficult to win with.
The well backed favourite, Don’t Push It, was beaten when coming to grief two out. He was hugely promising last season, but has had a badly interrupted campaign this year and so shouldn’t be written off just yet. In time, he may benefit from a further step up in trip.