Goshen back to winning ways at Sandown

Gary Moore felt Goshen „shut a lot of people up“ in landing the Virgin Bet Contenders Hurdle by 15 lengths at Sandown.

Jamie Moore’s talented mount had been beaten on his last five outings, including in a valuable three-runner affair at Lingfield last month.

Yet the Horsham handler has never lost faith in the six-year-old, who threw away the Triumph Hurdle two years ago when 10 lengths clear and unseating his rider at the last.

Global Citizen set a solid pace in the two-mile heat, but Moore was always in attendance and pushed the button turning in, and Goshen readily drew clear and was eased down after the last.

After welcoming in the 11-5 joint-favourite, Moore senior felt vindicated.

He said: „It makes a big difference to him going right-handed and in soft ground. It suited him.

„It shut a lot of people up. They keep knocking him all the time, asking if the real Goshen will turn up – he turns up every time.

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„But he had everything in his favour today and he showed how good he is.

„The pace was perfect, with the other horse going on, so he didn’t have to do his own donkey work.

„But Jamie said he was flat out anyway. I think they have gone a reasonable gallop.“

Regarding future plans he said: „Hopefully we can get some rain before Wincanton, as that is where he will go next (to the Kingwell Hurdle on February 19).

„This race was the kind of his aim, because it is a stiff two miles, whereas Wincanton is an easy two-miles. It is a fast track.

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„The only other place I might run him, because it is a valuable race, is the National Spirit at Fontwell. That is left-handed, but he has won round there.

„Going to Cheltenham won’t be my decision. It will be up to the owner (Steven Packham), but if it is up to me, he won’t go.“

Victory completed a double on the card as Moore had earlier sent out the Packham-owned Shallwehaveonemore to land the Virgin Bet Novices’ Hurdle under the trainer’s son, Joshua Moore – a first success for the rider since his return from serious injury.

He had been impressive in his bumper and had made a bright start to his hurdling career, despite two defeats.

Having finished fourth to Constitution Hill in the Tolworth Hurdle here last time on unsuitable ground, the five-year-old coasted to an easy success.

After the 4-9 favourite had obliged by 20 lengths, his trainer said: „He has done it well. What he beat, I don’t really know. I do feel he is a horse who will be better in a strong-run race and come off a pace.

„He is a horse we like a lot. It was always the plan to go to the Dovecote and if all goes well and he comes out of this race OK, he will go to Kempton.

„He will need to win the Dovecote in my book if he is to go to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.“

After something of a lean spell, Paul Nicholls was delighted to see Dolos land the Virgin Bet Handicap Chase for the third year in succession.

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Harry Cobden’s mount kept finding more to go to the front approaching the final fence and the 10-1 shot went away for a four-length success.

Nicholls said: „We were a little worried about the form of the horses this week, so you can’t go into any race with any confidence, even though there has not been any problem at all, otherwise you would not be running them.

„I would imagine we’ll find a handicap for him somewhere and there is a good two-mile handicap at Punchestown in April.“