3 minute read
Henry Brooke enjoyed a first Cheltenham success thanks to a fortunate final fence fall from JPR One in the Grade 2 Arkle Trial.
The Joe Tizzard-trained market leader had jumped to perfection until stumbling at the final flight when fully in command. That left the door open for Homme Public, who looked booked for second despite having also jumped soundly to this point. However, a final flight tumble from JPR One meant that Homme Public would enter the final furlong with the initiative and he wasn't to be denied, as he battled on gamely to beat Petit Tonnerre by a couple of lengths.
Brooke, who was enjoying his first Cheltenham winner, said: "If anything, he didn't love the ground today. He just never really took the bit like he would normally,"
"His jumping was very good and Brendan went a nice gallop out in front. I came to join him but Brendan slipped away down to two out. I've missed both two out and the last, but he's very good, he's nimble on his feet, he knows where his feet are.
"Brendan's misfortune has maybe been my luck today, but I was just saying he's had a harsh fall but he could be a lot worse. They are both OK and they live to fight another day and that's the main thing. There are people in worse circumstances right now and we've got to think about them.
"He's a willing partner and that's what you need on the big day and hopefully he will be there for many more.
"When Jonjo (O'Neill on Petit Tonnerre) came to my girths he's fairly scurried away and he's just improved and improved.
"I was looking at his form on the way down here and we didn't even win with him off 120 at one stage and it has just showed how far the team have come and progressed these horses. They are bringing the horses with them and are a good outfit."
On his first winner at Cheltenham, he added: "(It means) a lot. I might enjoy driving down here next time I come after today."
Greenall added: "He's a likeable horse and since he's switched to fences he's improved.
"Maybe it is just me but I don't think he looked quite as happy on the ground today. I think he is better on a better surface and it was good ground at Wetherby and he just seemed to spring and jump a bit better. Obviously it was a better class of race today, but I do think he's a better horse on better ground.
"Henry gave him a nice ride and he's been fantastic. He comes in once a week and is a good member of the team. He's had his injuries in the past but he rides really well.
"He will have to step out of handicap company now, but we will see what Henry says. I think he will be better on better ground. We always thought he would want further last year, but I think we will just stick to two miles for now.
"We entered him today just to have a look and we thought there might be some more highly-rated horses in it,"
"We'll just see how we go and Josh does a lot of the race planning etc, so he will have a look and we will discuss it."