Quinn unearths Hidden gem
John Quinn believes Hidden Justice could be a lively outsider for the JCB Triumph Hurdle after he secured his second win over obstacles on a good card at Catterick.
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Having shown a decent level of ability on the Flat last summer when trained by Amanda Perrett, John Quinn was happy to stump up 30,000 guineas for the son of Lawman at October's Tattersalls sale and that is already looking money well spent.
The four-year-old beat a subsequent winner by 15 lengths on his hurdling bow at Wetherby in December and was a 4-5 favourite to follow up in Catterick's BHEST Racing To School Juvenile Hurdle.
Despite conceding weight to each of his eight rivals, Hidden Justice was always travelling powerfully in the hands of Dougie Costello and picked up well after the final flight to beat the well backed Deepsand by five lengths.
Sky Bet and William Hill make the winner 20-1 for the Triumph Hurdle, with Ladbrokes 12s from 16s, and Quinn feels he could be a genuine player at Cheltenham, particularly if the ground comes up testing.
Quinn, who saddled Countrywide Flame to win last year's Triumph, said: "I'm well pleased. He can only win and Catterick wouldn't really be his track, but he was ready to run and we wanted to get some more experience into him.
"We'll definitely look towards the Triumph now. He's a horse who stays well and if the ground came up soft or softer then I think he'd have a real sporting chance.
"He handles better ground, as he showed today, but I think if it did come up soft that would give him an advantage as he handles it better than most.
"He's a horse who is quite easy on himself at home, so if he comes out of today well we might look at the Victor Ludorum at Haydock (February 16) for him and then go to Cheltenham after that.
"I doubt he'll have an entry in the Fred Winter. There is only one Triumph Hurdle."
The European Breeders' Fund "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle was a particularly deep event for the track, with dual course winner Special Catch joined by fellow hat-trick seeker Morning Royalty.
Last-time-out winners in Dreams Of Milan and King Of The Wolds were also in the mix, but in the end they were all well beaten by Jonjo O'Neill's southern raider Get Back In Line.
The 2-1 winner had chased home stable companion and subsequent Cheltenham scorer Mr Watson on his debut and he got the job done in style under Tony McCoy, beating King Of The Wolds by two and a half lengths, with Morning Royalty and Special Catch third and fourth.
Frank Berry, racing manager for winning owner JP McManus, said: "He ran a nice race the last day and has obviously come on for the run.
"He jumped well and travelled well and looked like he'd win it nicely, but it was workmanlike in the end.
"It looked a competitive race on paper so it's nice to see him go and win it. I don't think he'll get any fancy entries but he should be a nice chaser one day."
O'Neill, McCoy and McManus quickly completed a double as a confidently-ridden 11-4 favourite Kandari swept clear from the final fence to win the Dine And View At Catterick Races Handicap Chase.
Berry said: "He's not a straightforward horse and he can be a bit soft when push comes to shove.
"He's been frustrating and has let people down on a few occasions and Tony rode him like he has to be ridden. In a race like today's, he thinks he's a racehorse!"
James Ewart's Wilde Pastures (11-4) produced a fine front-running display to give conditional jockey Dale Irving his first winner under Rules in the Go Racing In Yorkshire Novices' Chase.
Minella Theatre (6-5 favourite) made the most of a drop in class when running away with the yorkshire-outdoors.co.uk Conditional Jockeys' Selling Hurdle, while David Thompson's ultra-consistent Everdon Brook (10-1) recorded his third win under Tony Kelly in the Cheltenham Preview Evening March 1st Handicap Hurdle.
Anthony Honeyball's unbeaten mare Midnight Minx won as a 1-4 favourite should in the concluding bumper.