Wincanton Matchbook Betting Exchange Kingwell Hurdle
|Grade 2, Wincanton 15:20
2m, Class 1
1 Goshen 4/7F
2 Adagio 15/8
3 Faivoir 25/1
4 ran Distances: 1¾l, 13l, 31l
Time: 3m 51.03s (slow by 28.03s)
It has been an emotional roller-coaster since Goshen's final flight exit when set for an easy victory in of the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham two years ago.
However, having proved the fire still burns bright when dominating his rivals in the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown a fortnight ago, Gary Moore’s stable star was the 4-7 favourite to add to his 22-length victory in this Grade Two contest last season.
Once again sent to the lead by the trainer’s son Jamie Moore, Goshen set a strong gallop from flag-fall to ensure the one-mile-seven-furlong contest would be a thorough test.
Adagio, who won the Grade One Finale Juvenile Hurdle last term before finishing second at Cheltenham and Aintree in the spring, once again had to make do with the runner-up spot on his reappearance in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November.
The David Pipe-trained five-year-old hade been off the racecourse since, but tracked Goshen into the home straight and briefly looked to be travelling the better of the two.
There was little to choose between the pair jumping the final flight and it was Goshen who found most on the run-in to win the day by a length and three-quarters.
Winning owner Steve Packham said: “Adagio is a decent horse and we had to give him weight as well. I was still relatively confident when Adagio came upsides as we know ideally he (Goshen) wants further.
“I’m absolutely delighted and Jamie is speechless – he absolutely adores the horse.
“We are all thrilled. It is incredible.”
Packham added: “Punchestown is not out of the window on soft ground. It would need to be soft ground over this trip.
“Apart from that we will probably give him a rest and we might have a go on the Flat for a bit of fun as he is in such good form, but I will leave that with Gary.
“Novice chasing is the plan next season. He is a bull of a horse and he will step him up in trip again over fences.
“We have had an amazing ride so far and he is only six. Who knows what will happen next?”
Jamie Moore said: “It is emotional to be honest. He showed so much guts today. He ran at Lingfield a month ago, Sandown two weeks ago and has had hard races both times.
“I know people call him names but he has shown guts there. I said to Scu (Tom Scudamore on Adagio) at two out ‘I think you’ve got me’.
“Fair play to the horse, he knuckled down and battled as hard as he could. I’m really proud of him and I’m pleased for Steve and dad that he has won another nice prize.”
Wincanton Matchbook Betting Exchange Kingwell Hurdle (Grade 2)
£70,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places
1 Goshen 6 11-10 Gary Moore Jamie Moore 4/7F
2 1¾ Adagio 5 11-7 David Pipe Tom Scudamore 15/8
3 13 Faivoir 7 11-7 Dan Skelton Bridget Andrews 25/1
4 31 Llandinabo Lad 7 11-6 Tom Symonds Nico de Boinville 20/1