Greatwood gold for Nietzsche and conditional jockey Danny McMenamin

Sun 18 Nov 2018

Nietzsche was a surprise winner of the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle for trainer Brian Ellison and in-form conditional jockey Danny McMenamin.

The five-year-old, without a win over jumps in 11 starts since January 2017, reserved his best for the biggest stage at Cheltenham as he stayed on with great determination to foil Silver Streak’s hat-trick bid by a neck.

In a race reduced to just five flights of hurdles because of the low sun, Nietzsche made the most of his minimum weight of 10st – and his jockey’s 7lb allowance – stealing into contention before what became the second last and holding off a sustained challenge from Evan Williams’ runner-up.

"Brian said to go out and give him the best chance he has. Nietzsche had a low weight and did it well.

"Back home my local track was Downpatrick and I used to go there as a kid. I just fell in love with the sport

"I've been attached to Nicky Richards for over a year. He has been good to me and hopefully the success will continue for me."

Ellison said: “It’s fantastic. This horse was third in the (2017) Fred Winter and for some reason he just lost his way last winter.

“We just decided to put a tongue strap on him as we scoped him and we couldn’t find anything wrong with him. We ran him at Newmarket with it on and he ran well so we left it on.

“I was very optimistic as he has run some good races here. I was just worried he hit the front too early.”

Of the winning rider, Ellison added: “He works at Nicky Richards’ and I watched him and I spoke to his agent Richard Hale and he thinks he is good.

“I used him the other day and he gave that a great ride, so he was worth taking the claim off.”

Ellison recently enjoyed a trip to the Breeders’ Cup meeting with The Mackem Bullet and said: “America was good, but it was not as good as here.

“This was the plan as the owner lives here so it is fantastic for him. He will be in those kind of races like what was the Ladbroke.”

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