White Valiant strikes again
Sunday, April 23, 2017 RSS Feeds

Well our first winner of the new turf season was on the grass except that it was in a National Hunt race. White Valiant may indeed run on the proper Flat this summer but for now he's plying his trade in bumpers and he's doing a great job, having won two of his three starts.

The latest came in the 1m6f bumper at Fontwell, which is the closest National Hunt course to White Valiant's co-owner Bruce Atkinson, making it an extra special occasion. With two other fancied point-to-point winners in the race, he was sent off as co-second-favourite but, given a typically excellent ride by Tom Scudamore, he won quite easily in the end, stalking the leaders throughout the race and then taking up the running on straightening for home to score by two and a half lengths.

This victory follows White Valiant's 80-1 winning debut at Huntingdon, with his one run in between being in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham on New Year's Day when it bucketed down all day. The very soft ground that followed scuppered his chances of a good performance but a short break to freshen him up since then seems to have done the trick.

We're hoping that his half-brother Roy Rocket can make it a memorable week for the family when he returns to his favourite course, Brighton, for his first run of the year, aiming to make it six wins at the track. He seems in good form and, at the age of seven, looks better than ever.

After that we plan to send Hope Is High for her first outing of the season at Yarmouth on May 2. She ran well there on her seasonal debut last year and she too appears to have come out of her winter break in good heart. Both Roy and Hope are dependent on the ground being no slower than good.

The attached photograph of White Valiant and Tom was taken by the photographer at Fontwell Park and presented to Bruce after the race. Though I have searched the website I can't find the photographer's name so I hope he or she will forgive me – as soon as I have a name I will make sure that proper credit is given.