Sky Bet Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle
2m, Class 1
1 Aucunrisque 3/1
2 Shallwehaveonemore 6/4F
3 Galore Desassences 40/1
8 ran Distances: 1l, 1¾l, 1¾l
Time: 3m 49.60s (slow by 8.60s)
Aucunrisque probably heading to Aintree next after bringing up the hat-trick in the Grade 2 @SkyBet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle in the hands of @tomcannon2 for @Chrisgordonrac1 @kemptonparkrace pic.twitter.com/zI3WHfPT4n https://t.co/TmEPnY8sT1 via @RacingBetter— RacingBetter (@RacingBetter) February 27, 2022
Chris Gordon's Aucunrisque made most of the running to see off the well-fancied Shallwehaveonemore.
The 3/1 second-favourite jumped fluently on his way to a one-length verdict over the 6/4 market leader, representing the Goshen connections.
Turning for home it looked like Shallwehaveonemore might have the winner's measure, but Aucunrisque found plenty for pressure out in front under Tom Cannon.
Shallwehaveonemore battled well and saw off Galore Desassences for second.
Aucunrisque was completing a hat-trick of victories for trainer Chris Gordon and Unibet chopped his price to 10-1 from 20s for the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
“It is so lovely. Brilliant. I am very happy. He has done it the hard way – he has gone up there in front and is a very hardy horse. He has just kept on picking up,” said Gordon.
“Sure, we could have gone for a tougher handicap, but he is going to be in tough handicaps all his life probably. We just thought, as a novice, he is tough and that is part of it.
“He’s won a pretty good little handicap hurdle before and a lot of novices haven’t done that and I thought he was a real warrior there today and stuck his head out all the way to the line.
“We just thought we’d keep it simple. I’m a simple person, so we try to keep the horses’ tactics nice and simple, bowl along nice and handy and just make use of a decent gallop.
“I did have the Imperial Cup in mind instead of coming here, but while I love Sandown, when it rains, I would go there with no race to go to, I’m 90 per cent sure.
“So, he is in the County Hurdle, but I think maybe he will go to Aintree. We’ll see. I can’t see any reason why he won’t go for the Grade One, but I haven’t had a drink in February and my judgement is not great!
“I don’t think this boy is big enough to jump a fence, so hurdling will be his game.”
Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle
£60,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
1 Aucunrisque 6 11-5 Chris Gordon Tom Cannon 3/1
2 1 Shallwehaveonemore 5 11-5 Gary Moore Joshua Moore 6/4F
3 1¾ Galore Desassences 6 11-5 Nigel Hawke Kieren Buckley 40/1
4 1¾ Iceo 4 10-10 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 9/2
5 3 Russian Ruler 5 11-5 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 14/1
6 8 Frere D'Armes 5 11-5 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 12/1
7 nk Legionar 4 10-7 Milton Harris Mitchell Bastyan 80/1
8 1 Moriko De Vassy 5 11-5 Tom Symonds Aidan Coleman 7/1