Tears flow as 24-year-old Chris Barber trains first winner under rules

Chris Barber: aiming Famous Clermont at Cheltenham's hunter chase night on April 29
Chris Barber: aiming Famous Clermont at Cheltenham's hunter chase night on April 29

Tuesday: Exeter

Chris Barber, grandson of point-to-point legend Richard, could not hold back the tears as Famous Clermont provided him with a first winner under rules – and the trainer is already fearing how emotions could get the better of him if the horse follows up at Cheltenham.

Will Biddick steered the seven-year-old to an easy victory in the 3m novice hunter chase and the £5,000 purchase is continuing to prove excellent value for money after this fifth win for the yard.

His 24-year-old trainer, who cried on entering the Exeter winner's enclosure, has ambitions to follow a similar career path as his late grandfather, who saddled more than 1,000 point-to-point winners and sourced the likes of See More Business and Rock On Ruby.

Barber said: "It's a very emotional thing. My grandad was a great point-to-point trainer and it's taken me a while to get a hunter chase winner on the board. You put a lot of time and effort into these horses, so it means an awful lot for that to be rewarded.

"I've got a long way to go to emulate what my grandad and Jack [cousin and successful trainer] have done but this is a nice start. I love point-to-pointing, it's very much what I love and I plan to stick to doing that. We do a lot of buying and selling four-year-olds too, which works out well."

Cheltenham's hunter chase night on April 29 is next on the agenda for Famous Clermont, with the 2m4f race named as his target.

Barber added of the winner: "That was a very good performance and he's a lovely horse going forward. I was delighted with him at home but I didn't think he'd do it like that.

"Ed Bailey bought him for me. He had him on his radar for a while and it's onwards and upwards. The owners bought him for £5,000, so it could be a bit of a rags-to-riches story if he can keep improving.

"I expect we'll go to Cheltenham next. I'm crying after winning this and I can't imagine what it'd be like after that."

Park Hill Dancer impresses

Park Hill Dancer, a half-brother to top hurdler Song For Someone, registered a debut bumper victory for Nicky Henderson in convincing fashion, powering clear by 17 lengths under Zac Baker.

The amateur rider said: "That's my first ride for Mr Henderson and hopefully not my last. He's a very nice horse. He travelled away on the bridle, then turning in I gave him a little squeeze and I couldn't believe nothing was coming at us. He galloped them into submission."

Deeper Blue in purple patch

The Harry Fry-trained Deeper Blue recorded a second win in four days in the 2m2½f handicap hurdle. Saturday's Fontwell winner was sent off 5-2 favourite and kept on for a six-length win.

Results, replays and analysis

The Front Runner is our latest email newsletter available exclusively to Members' Club Ultimate subscribers. Chris Cook, a four-time Racing Reporter of the Year award winner, provides his take on the day's biggest stories and tips for the upcoming racing every morning from Monday to Friday

West Country correspondent

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