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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

McEntee and Watson in seventh heaven as Spare Parts and Lars can't be split

Friendly rivals: Phil McEntee and Archie Watson, the trainers of Spare Parts and Captain Lars
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The battle to become the winningmost horse on the all-weather for the 2017-18 season ended in an honourable draw, as Captain Lars and Spare Parts could not be separated.

The pair boasted identical records going into the final day of competition but did not improve on their previous efforts, each finishing with seven wins, two seconds, two thirds and a fourth.

Friday's races marked the end of a eventful week, when it looked like an administrative error by Arena Racing Company had compromised the chances of Phil McEntee's Spare Parts, but Captain Lars was unable to capitalise for Archie Watson at Newcastle, leaving the two trainers to split the £10,000 prize.

"I'm absolutely over the moon – we're joint winningmost horse and we'll take that," McEntee said. "It didn't look promising coming here and Archie was the first person to message me after the race.

"It's a fair result for everybody, especially where Arc is concerned. If we hadn't got in the race and lost it would have been a bit tricky, but it's a great result for everybody."

McEntee was forced to run Spare Parts in the Mile, a race for which he was an 80-1 outsider (he finishing a commendable ninth) as he was unable to compete in the 7f apprentice handicap.

This was because Arc had not amended the rules to match the rest of the races on finals day whereby all runners needed to have run three times on the all-weather or won a fast-track qualifier in the winter to qualify. Spare Parts was balloted out, with the race won by Take The Helm, who was having his second start of the all-weather season.

Nicola Currie has been aboard Spare Parts for five of his seven wins, and added: "It's absolutely brilliant. It's been a great training performance by Phil and the team getting him spot on for every one of his runs. We're delighted to be here today so he can show his face."

Watson, who also finished second to Mick Appleby in the trainers' championship, was pleased to share the spoils.

He said: "I'm delighted with the draw. Phil's done a great job with his horse and Captain Lars has been great this winter. To win seven races as an eight-year-old in five months is fantastic."


THE ALL-WEATHER CHAMPIONS

Champion Sire - Kodiac
Champion trainer - Mick Appleby 
Winningmost Horse - Captain Lars and Spare Parts 
Champion Owner - Godolphin
Champion jockey - Luke Morris
Horse of the Year - Victory Bond


 

We're joint winningmost horse and we'll take that
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