Six-year-old Clondaw Kaempfer (6g Oscar- Gra-Bri, by Rashar) looked a bight prospect for trainer Donald McCain when landing the G3 Alder Hey Hurdle at Aintree on Friday.
The son of Oscar, bred by Philip Hore, arrived late on the scene to claim the competitive prize under Wayne Hutchinson to the delight of connections.
“He was a really promising novice but after winning his first two he got injured in the Challow Hurdle of 2012,” explained McCain. “He was up in the air at a couple of his early flights today and he is still immature.
“He has been in great form at home and I expected him to run really well. We have put a lot of work into him but he is still immature and I think we will stick with what we are doing for the short term.”
The victory was all the more remarkable as Clondaw Kaempfer returned to the winner’s enclosure minus his two hind shoes, which had been pulled off down the back straight.
“He’s done that nicely considering he’s had both of his back shoes pulled off,” said Hutchinson. “A loose horse was climbing all over the back of me and A P (McCoy)’s horse so it was a very gutsy performance.
“Donald told me to sit third or fourth and he settled lovely today. He was always in a nice rhythm and hasn’t missed a beat. He felt like he has a bit more growing up to do mentally and there is still improvement to come from him. Any big winner is great and I’m delighted to ride one for Donald.”
A former point-to-pointer, Clondaw Kaempfer changed hands for £130,000 at a Cheltenham sale in April 2012 a fter a bumper victory in Ireland.