Splash Of Ginge can gain compensation at Cheltenham
Splash Of Ginge can provide trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies with back-to back successes in the 2m 5f handicap chase at Cheltenham today (1.55).
The locally-based Naunton handler sent out Double Ross to win the contest 12 months ago, and in Splash of Ginge has a horse with a similar profile.
The six-year-old was bought for just £20,000 by Liverpudlian John Neild with the long term dream of winning the Grand National, and succeeded all expectations in his first season over hurdles.
Splash Of Ginge showed tremendous battling qualities to land the valuable Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, one of the most competitive handicaps in the calendar, and ended the campaign with a fine second to Lac Fontana in the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree.
The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained gelding disappointed on chasing debut when well beaten by Ainsi Fideles at Perth on seasonal reappearance, but has never been at his best going right handed and comprehensively turned that form around when the pair met over 2m 4f at this venue back in October.
Splash Of Ginge jumped and travelled well throughout the contest and after being produced at the last drew readily clear on the run-in to score by nine lengths.
Although the son of Oscar failed to back that up when well beaten in a classy novice chase next time up, that race was a farce with most of the fences omitted due to low sun and he showed that running to be all wrong in the valuable Caspian Caviar Gold Cup over course and distance last time out.
Splash Of Ginge had yet to be asked a question and was in second place and steadily closing a 10 length gap on eventual winner Nice On Frankie when coming to grief at the fourth last.
There is little doubt in my mind that Ginge had plenty left in the tank, and given how tired the eventual winner crossed the line it’s hard to think that he would not have won and at the very least finished in the frame.
His owner, who was very bullish about his chances beforehand, believes he would have gone very close and off an unchanged mark of 145 Splash Of Ginge looks weighted to gain compensation in the hands of promising 5lb claimer Ryan Hatch.