On The Blind Side makes winning start for Nicky Henderson at Aintree

Sun 29 Oct 2017

Point-to-point graduate On The Blind Side made a successful debut under rules in the Bet £10 Get £20 At 188Bet Maiden Hurdle at Aintree.

Having won his only start between the flags in Ireland last January, the five-year-old was snapped up for £205,000 by owner Alan Spence and sent to trainer Nicky Henderson.

He was the 2-1 favourite for his competitive introduction on Merseyside and after tracking the pacesetting Global Citzen for much of the two-and-a-half-mile journey, he hit the front in the home straight.

Another Stowaway, a largely unconsidered 80-1 shot, finished strongly and briefly threatened to cause an upset, but On The Blind Side was always doing enough and held him at bay by three-quarters of a length in the hands of Nico de Boinville.

Spence said: "We were hoping he'd run well, but Nicky's horses aren't quite there yet. I'm not saying he needed the run, but he'll definitely come on for the race.

"I'm delighted he's won and he should improve. There are a few more races in him, hopefully."

He added: "There is no objective. We just wanted to get today out of the way and we'll see where we go from here.

"Nico was very impressed with him and he's a chaser in the making really."

Bon Chic benefited from an enterprising ride from 10lb claimer Charlotte Jones to spring a surprise in the Download The App At 188Bet Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

Jimmy Moffatt's mare was a 33-1 shot, but with a visor applied for the first time, the eight-year-old was sent straight to the front and soon opened up a healthy advantage over the rest of the field.

It seemed only a matter of time before she would be swallowed up, but after being given a breather, Bon Chic picked up again leaving the back straight and responded to her rider's urgings all the way home to score by three-quarters of a length from Black Ivory.

Moffatt said: "She has two ways of running this mare, but she has ability. She was well-in today, running off 117 plus Charlotte's 10lb claim. She's been rated a lot higher than that in the past.

"We said we'd send her on and make her mind up for her today.

"I thought she'd actually gone a bit quick, but what do I know?"

Of the winning rider, the trainer added: "Charlotte still has plenty to learn, but she's enthusiastic and has won a class two and a class three for me.

"It's good of the owners to put her back on today as she fell off her at Cartmel earlier in the year."

 

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