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King's L'Equipe remains unbeaten
6:00am Thursday 17th January 2013 in Sport
THERE was some slight compensation at Kempton in what has been a trying time for Barbury Castle trainer Alan King as L’Unique retained her unbeaten British record.
The trainer lost his 2008 champion hurdler Katchit to colic, as well as Lidar sustaining a serious injury at Lingfield last week, and the stable has not quite performed at its usual standard this season.
Often a specialist with Triumph Hurdle types, L’Unique registers among King’s brightest hopes after she dismissed her opponents in the William Hill - No.1 Downloaded Betting App Juvenile Hurdle.
“I’m very pleased with her and her jumping was absolutely superb,” said King of the 4-5 favourite.
“I’m going to have to test her a bit now to see how good she is. I’m not saying she’ll definitely go to Cheltenham - she will have an entry - and I will maybe look at the Adonis back here.
“She’s not just a juvenile, she’ll make a lovely chaser, and won’t have more than two or three more runs this season.”
Barry Geraghty followed a remarkable recovery on Tetlami by sweeping up the feature William Hill Lanzarote Hurdle aboard his Nicky Henderson-trained stablemate Oscara Dara.
The Irishman somehow prevented himself from being dislodged when Tetlami stumbled through the final fence of the first circuit of the williamhill.com Novices’ Chase, but ultimately, the 30-100 favourite raced to a convincing success.
Oscara Dara’s own chasing career had stalled after he was beaten on his debut at Plumpton and he had not been convincing Henderson with his jumping of fences at home.
Fourth to stablemate Darlan at Aintree, Oscara Dara (5-1) went on to score at the Punchestown Festival and at this stage seems to find the smaller obstacles more appealing as he won decisively.
Henderson said: “We had it in our minds all year that he would go chasing and he was in everywhere this week but I schooled him and I wasn’t confident enough to run him over fences again.
“We put him over hurdles, which was plan B, but I think we’ll have to stick with plan B at least for the time being.”
Ian Popham, who only returned with a winner at Catterick earlier in the week on his comeback from a second serious pelvis injury, struck again on 9-4 favourite Bally Legend in the William Hill iPad App Now Available Handicap Chase.