Brewin’upastorm survived a scare at the final flight to continue his love affair with the Betgoodwin National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell.
2Olly Murphy’s stable stalwart won the Grade Two contest in 2021 before finishing a head second to Botox Has 12 months ago, but showed real guts to regain his crown in the Sussex track’s feature contest.
Given a wind operation since disappointing in the Relkeel Hurdle on New Year’s Day, Aidan Coleman was content to bide his time as Goshen cut loose on the front end in the hands of Jamie Moore.
Gary Moore’s enigmatic seven-year-old was the focal point for the majority of the contest as, out on his own, his tendency to jink right came back to haunt him.
But, by the time the quintet taking part reached the final bend with two to jump, the pack had swarmed on Goshen and Brewin’upastorm in particular was travelling menacingly in the hands of Coleman.
Hitting the front after the second last, Coleman sent the 10-year-old for home and the 7-2 chance proved a willing ally – pulling out more when challenged by Sceau Royal in the closing stages having briefly opened the door to Alan King’s veteran when having his momentum checked by a blunder at the last.
“That was brilliant,” said Murphy. “He’s a horse who has always had a lot of ability and I’ve kind of always stressed when he is good, he is very good.
“He was clearly on a going day today after coming back from a little break following a wind operation and it is great to win the race for a second time. He’s an absolute star.
“We were tight time-wise [to get to the race] but when these horses get a little bit older, you get to know them a bit better and the older they get, they probably don’t need as much graft. He was ready today and maybe he’s better off being a gallop short these days than one too many.
“It was a messy old race to watch. He had the door shut turning in and then walked through the last. But he’s a horse with an awful lot of ability who likes to make you sweat as well. He doesn’t make life easy for himself but he’s got a big engine and when he’s good, he’s good.
“He’s unlucky not to be three from three in the race, but we’re chuffed to win it again and we’ll enjoy celebrating.”