3 minute read
Queens Gamble made a winning start for her new trainer Harry Derham with a much-improved performance in the Watch Racing TV Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton on Monday.
The five-year-old daughter of Getaway made a winning hurdling debut at Warwick when trained by Oliver Sherwood and although successful that day, her jumping was far from foot perfect. However, the talented mare put in a much more fluent display of hurdling when running out a comfortable winner this afternoon.
Sent off the 8/13 favourite to maintain her winning record over hurdles, the Harry Derham-trained mare quickened up smartly under Johnny Burke and drew clear of previous Wincanton winner Classic King to score by two and a quarter lengths.
Derham said: "That was good, and she is obviously a good mare. I'm always nervous when you bring a horse to the races that is not fully wound up that it will catch them out. Johnny and I said last night if she is as good as we hope then she won't need to be fully wound up today.
"Today she was much better jumping. Oliver will tell you himself that before that run at Warwick, she hadn't had the best prep as she hadn't been out on the grass as it was a bit quick, but her jumping won't be an issue.
"She jumped really nicely today and over the last two when Johnny asked her to lengthen, she jumped very well. She is a high-class mare that is professional, and she went about it spot on."
Queens Gamble was trimmed from 16/1 to 14/1 by Paddy Power for the Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Festival, which Derham suggested would be her ultimate aim.
Derham added: "A day in March is the time we need to have her right as the mares' novices' hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival will be absolutely made for her. She has won at Cheltenham before, so we just need to plot our way there.
"I wouldn't want to over-race her beforehand so I will speak to her owners and make a plan."