Nickle Back Gallops to Memorable Victory in Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase
In a race filled with exhilarating moments and unexpected twists, Nickle Back emerged as the triumphant champion of the Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown. Under the expert guidance of jockey James Best, this victory marked a fairytale first for both him and trainer Sarah Humphrey from West Wratting.
The race was not without its challenges though, as Hermes Allen unfortunately suffered a fatal fall at the second-last hurdle. Despite this tragic event, Nickle Back’s remarkable performance on the track could not be overshadowed.
From the outset, Best and his trusted companion Nickle Back set off with an ambitious front-running strategy. With odds of 10-1 against them, they quickly established an impressive lead that left even the favorite Hermes Allen trailing behind.
With each leap over obstacles displaying sheer exuberance and skill, Nickle Back extended their advantage to an astonishing 20 lengths before approaching the final three jumps. The Pond Fence proved no challenge for this exceptional duo as they effortlessly cleared it with flawless precision.
As they galloped towards victory from two hurdles out, Djelo attempted a valiant pursuit to reduce their lead along the demanding home stretch. Yet despite their efforts, Best and his mount remained untouchable – crossing the finish line seven lengths ahead of Djelo.
“I just cannot believe it,” Best exclaimed during an interview with ITV Racing. “As a child, I used to watch these races on television and dream of becoming a jockey who wins prestigious events like this.”
Best went on to express his gratitude towards Sarah Humphrey and the entire team for their unwavering faith in him as well as their exceptional training of Nickle Back. Remembering their first chase victory at Warwick, he further emphasized the significance of this win.
“He was fearless from the start, which spurred me on,” Best added with enthusiasm. “I simply had to match his spirit throughout the race!”
Nickle Back’s love for galloping and jumping became evident during the race, making it crucial for Best to seize any available opportunity for respite without compromising their performance.
Congratulations poured in for trainer Sarah Humphrey, whose diligent efforts transformed this fragile horse into a formidable champion. Despite its challenges and delicate nature, Nickle Back proved that with perseverance and skillful handling, greatness can be achieved.
About Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase
The Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase is known for showcasing rising stars in National Hunt racing. Held annually at Sandown Park Racecourse in England, it is classified as a Grade One event where novice chasers compete over a distance of approximately 2 miles and 4 furlongs.