The outstanding At Fishers Cross (6g Oscar-Fermoy Surprise, by Supreme Leader) continued his unbeaten season when showing great tenacity to win the G1 John Smith’s Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree on Friday.
The son of Oscar, who was bred by Liam O’Regan, headed to Aintree on the back of a brilliant victory in the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and did not disappoint his supporters on Friday.
Tony McCoy waited patiently aboard the Rebecca Curtis-trained six-year-old before running out to an eight-length victory in the colours of owner J P McManus.
“At Fishers Cross has been winning all winter in heavy ground and last year, for some reason, he couldn’t physically jump. He was obviously very hard to get right but in fairness to Rebecca, she has done unbelievably well to turn him around,” said McCoy.
“I thought he wanted cut in the ground and we could have put him away after Cheltenham but in fairness to Rebecca, she was adamant he would be OK on better ground. It probably wasn’t as good a race as at Cheltenham but he felt every bit as good. He is getting the hang of winning and is improving.
“He is a good horse and therefore easy to ride. I said to the boss going out that he is the best horse in the race, he stays, and isn’t slow. I wanted to sit third and fourth and I was bit worried turning out of the back because they slowed it up and I didn’t want to get done for toe. But, in fairness over the last two and past the winning post, he was going. He is a proper little horse.
“It’s great for J P and Noreen because winning at these meeting is what it’s all about. And it’s great for Rebecca because she has done a fantastic job.”