Grade 1 Rockstar!!
The wonderful Nickle Back gave the yard its first Grade 1 success by winning the very valuable Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown on 3 February! Sent off last in the betting (at 10/1) of the five runners, he was ridden by James Best who loves and knows him well. As planned, they went straight into the lead and by the time they had cleared the first three fences (the famous Railway fences), Nickle had a lead of some 6 lengths. He continued to jump superbly and in a wonderful rhythm and, after passing the stands for the first time, James let Nickle bowl along down the hill, filling his lungs and flying the downhill fence most impressively. By the time they turned into the back straight, Nickle’s lead had stretched to a dozen lengths which had grown to 20 lengths after a faultless display of jumping over the Railway fences for the second time. Crossing over the Pond fence beautifully, Nickle had a commanding lead and he tackled the stiff uphill finish with style and determination, winning by seven lengths.
Although we thought that Nickle would run well, we didn’t expect him to win. What an amazing day and what a wonderful horse! Sarah has now done so many interviews (to print journalists and on televsion and radio!) that she is becoming quite a professional. Well done to the whole team! We are all absolutely thrilled (and still a little shocked!).
All these great images of a wonderful day are courtesy of Megan Rose of sandownracingimages. The photograph of Nickle Back being feted by the Sarah Humphrey Racing team on Monday was taken by Naomi Blackmore!