Trainer Robin Dickin was forced to watch his beloved stable star Restless Harry grind out a brave victory in the Grade 2 Betfred Goals Galore Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday, (the race formerly known as the Rendlesham Hurdle), from the comfort of his living room sofa, after being forced to stay at home after damaging his neck and having a brace and collar fitted a few days earlier, writes Elliot Slater.
Dickin’s wife Clare was on hand to greet the yard’s all-the-way winner and immediately described the likely comical scene that must have taken place as without doubt her ‘movement restricted’ husband attempted to ride a finish with his horse whilst watching on telly as the brave eight-year-old saw off one challenger after another down the long Haydock home straight to eventually run out a five-length scorer from last year’s race winner, Cross Kennon.
Restless Harry (best racing odds of 9/2) was not winning out of turn having performed with plenty of credit in recent outings but without ever having a hope of lowering the colours of the seemingly invincible big Buck’s, to whom he finished fourth in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham last month having endured a previous rear view of Paul Nicholls’ triple champion staying hurdler at Ascot in December when third to the great horse in the Grade 1 Lough Derg Long Walk Hurdle.
After his latest tangle with Big Buck’s Dickin decided against leaving his charge in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes World Hurdle at next month’s Cheltenham Festival and used the Haydock contest as a stepping stone towards a crack at either the Coral Cup, or more likely the Pertemps Handicap hurdle Final, at the showcase fixture. Certain to have plenty of weight, but blessed with more than a touch of class, Restless Harry looks certain to run with credit and with plenty of horse racing tips behind him whichever event his handler eventually chooses.