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'He could be very good at this job' - Skycutter delights Phil Kirby on debut

Phil Kirby: "We knew he had plenty of ability but they've still got to go and do it"
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Wednesday: Wetherby

Phil Kirby believes Skycutter could be "potentially anything" after the useful Flat performer won with authority on his jumping debut to earn a 50-1 quote for the JCB Triumph Hurdle.

Kirby is eyeing a £20,000 race at Kempton on December 27 for the November Handicap fourth, who took the juvenile maiden hurdle by six and a half lengths despite jumping to his right on occasions.

"We knew he had plenty of ability but they've still got to go and do it," the trainer said of the 5-6 winner. "He's potentially anything at the moment. He could be very good at this job.


Watch Skycutter win on his hurdling debut


"He's a very good jumper. We just need to square him up as he went a bit right today and he's never done that before – he's always been foot-perfect at home.

"There's a good race for him at Kempton over Christmas and we may go somewhere and find something a bit easier in between to sort his jumping out."

Kirby, whose biggest wins have come with top-class mare Lady Buttons and smart chaser Top Ville Ben, said: "I've not really had many juvenile hurdlers before – but I've got one now."

Phil Kirby won 15 races with top-class mare Lady Buttons

'He gave us a bit of a scare' 

Never underestimate the Wetherby fences. Two of the four runners in the novice handicap chase fell and it looked as though the second winner finishing alone at the course this season was likely when Trooper Turnbull belted the third-last.

But Conor O'Farrell sat tight on the 6-5 favourite, who held a narrow lead and was going clearly the better at the time, before steering him to a three-length win.

"He gave us a bit of a scare," admitted trainer Rose Dobbin. "It was a very good sit by Conor and hopefully he won't do that to us again. Funnily enough, he didn't jump the fence very well first time round either."

Trooper Turnbull was building on his third over fences 18 days earlier and Dobbin said: "We've always loved this horse and been excited to go chasing. He blew up a bit at Kelso and he's really come on for that and done the business today."

Dobbin was saddling her 15th winner of the season and said: "I'm absolutely chuffed with how things are going.

"We've got a nice bunch of horses, that makes all the difference, and going on from now we just need to keep them healthy. We've run some nice novices and some nice older horses – fingers crossed one or two of them can win some better races and get us up a bit in the prize-money."

It was a similar story in the three-mile chase in which only two of the five runners got round, with Oscar Robertson left clear two out to win easily for Tom George and Jonathan Burke.

Stablemate Darling Du Large won the two-mile chase in which only three went to post on a day when 13 horses in total were taken out due to ground that was officially good to firm in places.

Dobbin's fortunes took a turn for the worse as Some Reign was withdrawn at the start after being reluctant to line up.

Replays, results and analysis


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I've not really had many juvenile hurdlers before – but I've got one now
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