- Tellherthename sauntered to a 14-length success in the Novices’ Hurdle
- It came 17 days after being pulled up in Boxing Day’s Formby Hurdle at Aintree
- If Tellherthename runs before the Festival it will be in next month’s Betfair Hurdle
Ben Pauling believes Tellherthename is in the same league as his 2017 Cheltenham Festival winner Willoughby Court after the five-year-old bounced back to form to earn a shot at the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Seventeen days after being pulled up in Boxing Day’s Grade One Formby Hurdle at Aintree, Tellherthename sauntered to a 14-length success in the Novices’ Hurdle, prompting Pauling to draw favourable comparisons with his Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle winner.
Tellherthename’s victory was something positive for jockey Kielan Woods on the day he was handed a 45-day suspension for repeated breaches of the whip regulations.
If Tellherthename runs before the Festival it will be in next month’s Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.
Pauling said: ‘He is back on track. We turned a lot of stones to try to find out what had happened at Aintree, we found a few bits and bobs but nothing to put us out for that long.
Trainer Ben Pauling believes Tellherthename is in the same league as Willoughby Court
‘I was keen to get his season back on track before we dwelt on it for too long. This is as good as I’ve had. He is a class horse with gears galore.’
Woods said: ‘I don’t know what happened at Aintree — maybe it was the horrendous ground or he had an off day.’
On the suspension which will prevent him riding in the Betfair Hurdle if Tellherthename goes there, Woods added: ‘It is a long time and I am gutted also because I have let Ben down. I am going to be on the sidelines for a while but I’ll be back.’
Woods, who was also hit with a 42-day suspension in June, has blamed his breaches of the whip rules on a ‘mental block’ and in a statement issued on his behalf by the Professional Jockeys Association, he said: ‘By the time I reach the end of this suspension I’ll have missed around a third of the last year through suspension and I’ve got no one to blame but myself.
‘I’m going spend this time off getting to the bottom of why I seem to have a mental block when it comes to this issue and making sure whatever the issue is, I get it fixed.’
The Boodles Hurdle is the Festival target of Kabral Du Mathan after he won the Weatherbys Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden.
There was no fairytale return to the training ranks for Henrietta Knight at Wincanton, where her first runners since 2012 — Zettabyte and Ballywalter — were ninth and pulled up in their respective races.
Jacob leads Mullins 1-2-3
Willie Mullins saluted Daryl Jacob after the jockey’s perfect timing on Readin Tommy Wrong gave him an unexpected Grade One prize.
Jacob, 40, is in the twilight of his career and opportunities to ride in races of the quality of the Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle — a key Cheltenham Festival trial — are not as commonplace as they were in his prime.
But he grasped the chance with both hands, as he guided home 16-1 shot Readin Tommy Wrong in the shadows of the post to nab favourite Ile Altantique, also trained by Mullins. For good measure, Mullins also saddled the third-placed Lecky Watson.
‘He was a big price,’ said Mullins. ‘Daryl was very cute on him and rode a great race. He sat in behind and waited for it to all fall apart. It was a hell of a run from both horses. They might not even need a run before Cheltenham.’