13th August 2015, Jockey Tom Cannon
Congratulations to all owners in this partnership on a superb and gutsy win from their 4-year old Sea The Stars gelding at 7/1, on just his 5th start in the Heart of the South colours.
After worrying about the soft ground all morning, Gary decided “if we don’t try we will never know” and thank goodness he decided to run because the horse seemed to love the conditions. What a great call from our trainer!
Tom Cannon gave the horse a brilliant ride, letting him bowl along quite happily for the first circuit, but as the horse started to tire slightly no way was Tom going to let him get away with it. He kept the horse in content at all times, on occasions seeing a stride and really riding into the hurdle like a true horseman, giving Royal Battalion every confidence to jump well. You would never have picked him out as the winner though, but as the finishing line got closer so did the horse, little by little. With two jumps to go, it looked like we might get squeezed out but once again Tom urged the horse forward and he battled on to win nicely, beating two well fancied runners.
Royal Battalion has risen 6lbs to a mark of 113 following the win. He looks likely to return to Fontwell Park on 25th August to hopefully build on this success. As well as an Autumn of jumping, it will be quite exciting to see him on the flat at some point too (off an interesting mark of 71.) One thing is for sure, there looks to be more vicorous wins to enjoy with this fellow. It’s quite good fun following his half sister too – 1000 Guineas winner Legatissimo!
Special thanks to Connor Press Associates Ltd for the below photographs. Copies can be ordered via Nigel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org