Cambridgeshire hero Dolphin Vista jumps to it for Meade
Racing Partnership Maiden Hurdle | Class 3 | 4yo+ | 2m | ATR
Four months after springing a 50-1 shock in the Cambridgeshire Dolphin Vista causes another surprise on Monday when he makes his debut over hurdles.
Having earned just short of £100,000 by seeing off 33 rivals over nine furlongs at Newmarket in September, the five-year-old gelding bids for a first prize of £6,498 in a 2m maiden hurdle.
"The owner wanted to do it, so I schooled him and he jumps really well," trainer Martyn Meade said on Sunday.
"Obviously, whether he'll stay or not is the question, but he's in good form so we'll have a go and see whether he takes to it on the racetrack."
The experiment will continue only if Dolphin Vista looks like making a useful hurdler, and Meade added: "Unless he's pretty special at Fakenham then that will be it. We'll take him back and get him ready for the Lincoln, I guess. If he is special we'll have better aspirations."
Dolphin Vista faces six rivals, and his trainer said: "I'm not sure whether Fakenham will really suit him but the owners particularly wanted to run him there; he's in at Huntingdon later in the week but that's a much tougher race. He should be fine provided he copes with the undulations."
Five other Cambridgeshire winners who ran over hurdles
Chivalry was bought by Howard Johnson for 170,000gns on behalf of Graham and Andrea Wylie after his short-head defeat of Adiemus for Sir Mark Prescott in the 2003 Cambridgeshire, and he was an instant success in his new role.
He landed a novice hurdle at Ayr just 18 days after his sale and followed up in a handicap at Kelso two months later, but there was only one more win over hurdles, in another novice at the Scottish National meeting back at Ayr the following April. His final tally over jumps was three wins from 17 starts.
Clifton Fox was a decisive winner of the 1996 Cambridgeshire for Jeremy Glover, who was something of a specialist in the race, and the following month he ended his Flat career with a neck defeat of Kutta in Doncaster's November Handicap.
He was bought privately by JP McManus afterwards, but it was a further three years before he reappeared over hurdles in a novice contest at Newcastle for Jonjo O'Neill.
He won comfortably in the hands of Richard Johnson that day but was beaten at odds-on next time and made only two further appearances – following another three-year gap.
A 33-1 winner of the 2001 Cambridgeshire for James Given and Micky Fenton, I Cried For You held his form well on the Flat for the next six months and finished third in the Lincoln.
However, he had lost his way somewhat by the time he was tried over hurdles the following winter and failed to place in three novice starts.
Mellottie did things in reverse, as he had won three bumpers and a Newcastle novice hurdle, as well as finishing second at Wetherby, before Mary Reveley switched him to the Flat.
Once he started on the Flat he scarcely looked back, and his 1991 defeat of High Premium was the seventh of 16 wins in that sphere.
The Tony Martin-trained She's Our Mare was already an established hurdler when she won the 1999 Cambridgeshire – run on the July course – in the hands of Franny Norton, having earlier that year won Haydock's valuable Swinton Hurdle for David Casey, one of seven successes over obstacles.
She ran Rodock close in what is now the Greatwood Hurdle the following month but never won again over hurdles or on the Flat, despite two changes of trainer.
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