GRADE 2 CHELTENHAM SUCCESS FOR SHIROCCO
ROCKPOINT (Shirocco) produced a career best performance to land the Grade 2 Albert Bartless Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. It was just a second attempt over the three mile trip for Colin Tizzard’s charge, having found only one too good last month at Newbury over the same distance.
Tom Scudamore made the most of his mount’s stamina, tracking the early pace and disputing from four out, edging ahead from the second last flight, staying on well up the hill. The winning margin was two and three parts of a length, as Lisnagar stayed on for second.
Colin Tizzard afterwards commented, “We saw something when he ran in that handicap over three miles at Newbury last time. He looked more at ease with himself and today he won like a proper horse. You wouldn’t know where he’ll stop now but I’ve no doubt he’ll come back here for the Albert Bartlett in March with a couple of runs beforehand.”
Owned by John and Heather Snook, Rockpoint was bred by Mr and Mrs Kelvin-Hughes and sold to his owners for €82,000 at the Derby Sale.