Sporting John (Getaway) Extends Unbeaten Record At Ascot

Unbeaten Hurdler Leads Fine Weekend For Getaway

Saturday saw Sporting John (5g Getaway - Wild Spell, by Oscar) extend his unbeaten record when taking the Novices’ Hurdle at Ascot in convincing fashion.

The Philip Hobbs-trained gelding came into the race with two victories over hurdles for JP McManus, whose son Kieran purchased him for £160,000 following his debut win between the flags for Matthew Flynn O’Connor. He shouldered a penalty for the Class 2 contest and was ridden to chase the leader by Barry Geraghty, who asked him to lead from two out. Staying on strongly from the final flight, he was eased down close home to win by six and a half lengths.

Speaking after the race, the winning trainer said, “Cheltenham is the obvious place to go. I'm probably thinking two and a half (for the Ballymore) but he could go the other way and it depends what else JP has. He's probably going to be better over fences and that's something to look forward to.”

Bred by Stephanie Hanly, the son of Getaway provides a nice update for his full-sister who was bought by Gerry Hogan at last year’s Goffs Land Rover Sale for €50,000.

He kicked off a successful weekend for his Grange Stud sire, who was also responsible for a double at Sunday’s point-to-point fixture at Punchestown. The opening four-year-old maiden saw the in-form Colin Bowe stable unveil an exciting type in Bareback Jack (4g Getaway - Dubh Go Leir, by Definite Article), who raced home a 15 length winner under Rob James.

Connections will now be hoping to return a fine profit on Bareback Jack’s store price of €40,000. He becomes the first winner bred by Raymond O’Driscoll out of the mare, herself a daughter of Grade 2 performer Aine Dubh.

The Colin Bowe stable had to settle for second in the Mares' Maiden, which was won by smart newcomer Drumlee Getaway (5m Getaway - The Vicars Lady, by Old Vic). Noel McParlan took the ride for his father Sean, his mount travelling strongly throughout and travelled well to lead from the final fence. In command on the run-in, she was eased down as Victorias Peak (Fame And Glory) narrowed her advantage to a length and a half on the line.

Drumlee Getaway was bred by Amy McCoy out of point-to-point winner The Vicars Lady, herself a full-sister to multiple Graded winner Vic Venturi.