Mr Whipped too good for Warwick rivals
Last Updated: 13/01/18 4:17pm
Mr Whipped claimed his third win from as many starts for Nicky Henderson in the Ballymore Leamington Novices' Hurdle at Warwick.
Bought for £160,000 after winning an Irish point-to-point last spring, the son of Beneficial made a successful hurdling debut at Kempton in November and followed up in good style at Newbury last month.
He was the 6-4 favourite stepped up to Grade Two level and while his supporters had a few anxious moments turning for home, with Mr Whipped briefly caught in a pocket, he got clear daylight early in the straight and looked to have Knight In Dubai well covered on the run to the final flight.
Henderson's charge showed signs of inexperience when wandering under pressure and Paisley Park was finishing, but Nico de Boinville bagged the rail aboard the market leader and he passed the post a length to the good.
De Boinville told ITV Racing: "I was very impressed with him because he's still a big, raw baby. After he jumped the last he thought that was the job done and started to ease up a bit, but if something had come to me I think he would have gone on again. He had plenty left in the tank.
"He definitely deserves to (go to Cheltenham). His form is rock solid now."
Speaking from Kempton, Henderson's assistant Toby Lawes said: "He was fantastic and he is a horse we like very much. We started him off over two miles at Kempton and it was too sharp, but it just showed he had that natural ability and then he was fantastic at Newbury the other day.
"He has really surprised as he was a horse that was a little bit buzzy when he first came to us. Through the season he has just got fuller and stronger and bigger. He has got lots of scope and could be anything.
"There is potential to step him up to three miles, but we have got quite a few nice novice hurdlers between two-and-a-half and three. Three miles is certainly an option, but it's not a decision we are going to make yet. We will play it by ear and see how much he comes on at home."