Whiskey Chaser returned to Carlisle for the ApolloBet Worldwide Lotteries Novices’ Handicap Chase. The race was over 2.5 miles and the syndicate was out in force to cheer Frodo on.
Buoyed by his previous win at the course just a few weeks earlier I was optimistic about this race. Although, this time round Whiskey Chaser would be carrying the added weight dished out by the handicapper, so I wasn’t overly confident.
I’d booked a short holiday which unfortunately ended up clashing with the date of the race. However, by sheer good fortune I was only just 25 minutes away from Carlisle! Which is by far the shortest journey I’ve had to watch our horse run and yet somehow I still managed to nearly miss the race.
After a brief catch-up the some of the other syndicate members I took up position on the viewing area to watch the race. Henry Brooke was our jockey and after a short delay the runners were on their way.
A now usual race pattern emerged, our horse was tracking the leader and jumping well. The horses flew past the viewing platform where I was watching and entered the final circuit of the course. As the runners turned for home the leading group including Whiskey Chase opened up a small gap on the rest of the field.
At this stage of the race it looked to me like anyone of the front quartet could win it. Four fences out and Henry gave Whiskey Chaser encouragement to take on the leader, he switched from the rail to the outside but quickly got boxed in between Our Boy Ben and Coolanure. The horses bunched up and Whiskey Chaser seemd to suddenly dropped off the pace and lose about a length from the front trio. At that point I thought we’d be lucky to finish fourth, but all credit to Whiskey Chaser as he rallied and went after the leaders ultimately finishing just half a length behind the second placed horse Coolanure.
Not a bad result overall when you consider the race winner (Resolute Reformer) carried 10-7 and second places horse carried 9-9. Our boy was on 11-8, Jockey Henry Brooke gave his post race debriefing and told the syndicate that Whiskey Chaser had received a painful kick during the race – at the point where he dropped off the pace momentarily. Henry said but for the kick Whiskey Chaser would have finished in second place.
Thankfully, no lasting damage was done and despite the racecourse vet initially thinking he may have cracked the splint bone the subsequent x-rays and scans came back clear.