Tim Easterby landed the Fred Winter at Cheltenham courtesy of Hawk High
Last Updated: 12/03/14 5:29pm
Brian Hughes steered Hawk High to victory
Hawk High stayed on strongly to secure a 33/1 victory in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham for northern trainer Tim Easterby.
Owned by Trevor Hemmings, the four-year-old got the better of Katgary (8/1) by three-parts of a length, with Orgilgo Bay (16/1) a length and three-quarters further back.
The race was marred by a terrible injury suffered by jockey Bryan Cooper, who broke his leg in a crashing fall two from home.
Azza took the field along in this hugely competitive affair over an extended two miles but there were plenty in with a chance two from home, where Clarcam and Cooper unfortunately came down when right in the firing line, hampering several other runners.
Orgilgo Bay was left in front and set sail for home but Paul Nicholls' French import Katgary moved up to challenge on the inside, while Hawk High powered down the outside under Brian Hughes.
The winner took charge with a nice leap at the last and then stuck to his task well for Hughes to hold off Katgary, who had been slightly hampered in the melee two from home.
Orgilgo Bay did best of the Irish raiders in third with another Nicholls runner, Keltus (25/1), taking fourth place.
A jubilant Easterby said: "I'm delighted. This is the best place in the world to have a winner.
"He's a very decent horse and he needs a confident ride. He won on heavy at Warwick but he didn't seem to handle anything right at Haydock (when sixth last time). I don't know why."
Hemmings added: "The jockey suited the horse. We were delighted to get Brian Hughes, who rode him very well."
The injured Cooper had been due to partner Last Instalment in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday but owners Gigginstown House stud's racing manager Eddie O'Leary said: "He's broken two bones in one of his legs."
Josh Hamer was another rider to be injured in the race, breaking his collarbone in a fall from Akdam, who very sadly had to be put down.