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Cheltenham

  • 16:05 Jockey Club Venues Mares' Standard Open NH Flat Race 2m 87y

  • (Listed) £20,000 added 4-6yo 16 ran
  • Winner £11,390 2nd £4,274 3rd £2,140 4th £1,066
  • Going: Good to Soft (Soft in places)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 59.70s
  • Off time: 16:09:55

Copper Kay completes Cheltenham double for Richard Johnson at The Open

Last Updated: 14/11/15 5:14pm

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Copper Kay ran out an impressive winner of the bumper

Copper Kay ran out an impressive winner of the bumper

Richard Johnson called Copper Kay ' his best chance of a winner' and the mare didn't disappoint in the closing bumper.

Sent off the 15/8 favourite from a first show of 11/2 the day before, there was no disguising the confidence behind the Philip Hobbs-trained winner of the Jockey Club Venues Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

Johnson had spoken of his hopes for the five-year-old in his blog and she didn't let him down in storming clear for a four and half length success which was much easier than the winning margin suggests.

Kept wide throughout in search of the better ground, she quickly opened up a commanding advantage when asked to go and win her race and only needed to be kept up to her work to score to loud cheers from the grandstands.

She was chased home by her year younger half-sister Which One Is Which who in turn finished two and three quarter lengths clear of Theatre Territory.

Victory completed a double on the card for both the trainer and the jockey following on from the success of Sausalito Sunrise.

Johnson said: "She was out of a good mare that Philip trained, she's a very tough and straightforward filly and she was unlucky at Sandown last year when she got bumped.

"She has probably improved with another summer on her back.

"She has run four times in bumpers now and we're a little bit limited to where we can go."

The first two home were both bred by Aiden Murphy and Alan Peterson and Murphy said: "When the mare retired from racing Alan didn't know what to do with her, so I said I'll take her and we'll share the foals and have some fun.

"We decided to keep the first foal, which was Copper Kay, and sell the second, which was Which One Is Which.

"Sadly Presenting Copper died of colic this year but we have some lovely progeny out of her. She had a full brother to Copper Kay this year and we have a two-year-old filly by Shirocco."

Jonjo O'Neill was delighted to pick up some black type with the runner-up while Nicky Henderson is also looking forward to sending the third hurdling.

"She's run very well and she will learn a lot from that," he said.

"We got a bit of black type and we found out a bit about her which was the whole idea - exactly what we wanted."

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