999-1 shot gets up to win after flying finish
A day after in-running 1.01 punters endured one of their most expensive days with the surprise defeat of Seyaady at Carlisle, their rival 999-1 backers were in clover when Captain Sharpe came from a mile back to land the Northumberland Day Handicap Chase at Hexham.
Jumping the last the Kenny Johnson-trained nine-year-old, who is circled in the picture above and named after the lead character in a military drama set during the Napoleonic Wars, was some 15 lengths off the pace under 3lb claimer Thomas Dowson.
With a furlong to run he still had a good ten lengths to make up but, while those in front tired, the hero of the piece engaged overdrive to swoop through for the unlikeliest of victories.
With less than half a furlong to run Captain Sharpe was still in third a good three lengths off the leader Lakefield Rebel, but by now those who had discarded betting slips in frustration on the home bend were frantically beginning the search for their lost treasure as it became apparent the 22-1 shot was going to get close.
It was still hard to believe he would win until the dying strides, when he miraculously got to the long-time leader.
Captain Sharpe, like his literary namesake who was portrayed by Sean Bean in the popular television series, overcame all odds to triumph, eventually running out a length-and-three-quarter winner.
Trainer Henry Hogarth and jockey Jamie Hamilton, whose Lakefield Rebel was chinned on the line, received some consolation as they combined for a winner of their own in the Fentimans Botanically Brewed Beverages Novices' Handicap Chase an hour and a half later courtesy of 6-4 favourite Hattons Hill - the second leg of a double for Hamilton who was earlier victorious on Mark Walford's Cape Hideaway.