Veneer turns on the charm to complete three-timer for Elliott
Martin Wasylocha had plans to celebrate "big" after Gordon Elliott proved he could satisfy his smaller owners, as well as his major one, when 33-1 shot Veneer Of Charm took the Fred Winter.
On the day Gigginstown House Stud's £335,000 outlay for Samcro helped secure a Ballymore Novices' Hurdle triumph, Wasylocha managed to fulfil his own dream with a horse bought for 16,000gns.
"I've only two horses," said Wasylocha, who runs a logistics business in Dublin. "This is the type of race for a smaller owner and the easiest way to get a runner at the festival. That was the plan when we bought him.
"We probably thought we'd be Flat handicapping or over at Perth in the summer, but sometimes you just don't know. I've been with Gordon since he had seven or eight horses. He's a hard worker. There are no airs and graces, he treats everybody brilliantly. If you're fair, he's fair."
Veneer Of Charm did not hit the front until approaching the last, where he veered from left to right before knuckling down for Jack Kennedy to beat Style De Garde by three lengths with Nube Negra third.
"He took a wobble before the last and wandered about, but once he jumped the last I knew he wasn't going to stop," added the owner.
"It's truly unbelievable. I had a runner here before at an October meeting five or six years back and didn't really enjoy it. It was my first time here and suddenly felt this weight on me.
"This time I was determined to make the most of it. I don't think I can eclipse this. We're going to have a good time tonight, and tomorrow."
The winner made it three winners on the day for Elliott, whose first-day blank included a surprise defeat for Apple's Jade in the Mares' Hurdle.
"Last night I was trying to get a Ryanair flight home," the trainer said. "I was in bed by 9.30pm, but it won't be the same tonight."
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