Edwardstone turns Game Spirit into a procession

Edwardstone galloped his rivals into the ground when landing the Grade 2 Game Spirit Chase at Newbury on Saturday.

EDWARDSTONE winning the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase
EDWARDSTONE winning the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase Picture: AAP Image

A drop back in trip combined with a change in tactics seemed to work the oracle for Alan King's 2022 Tingle Creek winner Edwardstone, who galloped his three rivals into the ground at Newbury this afternoon.

It became apparent from flag fall that Tom Cannon would take no prisoners in the two-mile and half a furlong Grade 2 prize as he sent Edwardstone straight into a clear advantage over the first fence.

The chasing pack were never able to get within six lengths of the runaway leader, who ultimately cantered clear to score by a staggering forty lengths.

Last year's winner Funambule Sivola (8/1) was left to fill a remote second place when he inherited that position after Boothill came down at the last, but neither was ever within striking distance to lay a glove on the 11/10 marker leader.

Joe Tizzard's Amarillo Sky was pulled-up.

Alan King said: "It's been the plan for some time (to make the running. I thought after Kempton when we disappointed him over two and a half (miles) and kept bringing him back, we would come here and pop out and try that.

"He was racing within himself, and I think Tom was happy and able to get a breather in coming to cross-fence and away he went again. It has given me an awful lot of satisfaction."

Edwardstone's sparkling success saw him cut to 8-1 from 14s for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham by Paddy Power.

King confirmed that his stable star would indeed return to Cheltenham in March for the two-mile showpiece: "Jonbon and El Fabiolo are the main horses, but I think we will be taking them on – I certainly won't be going to the Ryanair.

"As long as he comes out of this all right, he will go for the Queen Mother, and I have huge respect for both Jonbon and El Fabiolo. Jonbon has beaten us twice this season and Willie's horse looked awfully good last week.

"It's exciting and I think we're in the mix now, hopefully. Those tactics worked today but might not be the thing to do at Cheltenham, but we will worry about that nearer the time."

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