3 minute read
Paul Nicholls described Stay Away Fay as a “proper horse” following his success in the Grade 2 Betfair Esher Novices’ Chase at Sandown.
A winner of the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Festival in March, the son of Shantou always promised to be top class over fences and made it two from two in his new discipline when fending off the talented Giovinco.
The small but select field of four reluctantly set off on their three-mile journey and with nobody keen to make the running, Harry Cobden took matters into his own hands on Stay Away Fay , who arrived following an impressive chasing debut success at Exeter.
The race changed complexion at the half-way stage when the reopposing Changing Man unseated Brendan Powell, despite the rider's remarkable efforts to keep the partnership intact.
It soon became apparent the race was between Stay Away Fay and Giovinco, with the former looking to be in serious trouble as Stephen Mulqueen loomed upsides on Lucinda Russell's six-year-old approaching the penultimate fence.
However, the 8/11 market leader produced an excellent leap at the final flight to take him back to the front and he stayed on strongly up the Esher hill to score by a length and a half to give Nicholls and Cobden victory in the inaugural running of the three-mile contest.
Nicholls said: "He digs deep and stays and gallops. He is a proper horse. I knew he would stay and gallop all the way to the line. It is a hard in front as he doesn't do a whole heap in front.
"In those better races when you have loads of company and they go a true gallop it helps him. No one was going to takes us on, so we were left in front, and we had to do the donkey work and you are a sitting duck, but one thing he does is gallop all the way to the line and he stays on strong. He is a good horse.
"I'm definitely not going for the National Hunt Chase and if he runs anywhere, it will be the Brown Advisory at The Festival.
"We might look at something like the Reynoldstown at Ascot, but there are no real plans. He will not go to Kempton [for the Kauto Star] that is for sure as he will have a little break now."
Joint-owner Chris Giles is no stranger to owning top-class horses and he was understandably excited about what the future holds for the promising young chaser.
Giles said: "He had a lot of work to do. He did a lot of work by himself. It was a tough race for him, but it was a nice staying finish and that is what you want up the Sandown hill.
"I think the second is a good animal and that is a nice race to win. We are very happy, especially as he was giving three pounds away.
"It was lovely to see him do it over those fences. Around the Railway Fences down the back straight twice meant there was a lot of jumping involved. He did not miss a fence. I think Harry thinks he would be better with a lead.
"He stays as he has got the stamina. I don't think he is ever going to be a horse that wins by 10 or 15 lengths, but more so by two or three lengths. He will give us a lot of fun.
"We will miss the Kauto Star Chase for sure, but you wouldn't be afraid to go straight to Cheltenham. I think he is proper horse, and it was lovely to see him do that today.
"Listening to Paul he thinks he is a proper horse, and he doesn't want to over race him in his novice season as there is more to come. You have got to [think of the Gold Cup next season] when you go and see him do that."
Paddy Power cut the winner in half for the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, with Stay Away Fay now the 5/1 market leader.