West Ilsley trainer Mick Channon was proud of Somersby’s rejuvenated run to finish second to Sire De Grugy in the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival yesterday.
The ten-year-old, who unseated Dominic Elsworth in the Grade 1 event 12 months ago and did likewise on his last start in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot, jumped superbly this time and led turning into the straight, before being beaten six lengths.
Channon said: “He’s run wonderfully – he unseated last time out, so we weren't sure what would happen today, but he’s just been beaten by a better horse.
“Dominic gave him a great ride and we have no complaints. He went over to Hen’s (Henrietta Knight) and did a lot of schooling after he fell at Ascot.
“He has run a cracker and just got beat by a very good horse of Gary’s.”
Knight, Somersby's previous trainer, added: “That’s the best race he’s run for a long time, and certainly the best race he’s run at Cheltenham.
“I doubt whether you will see him run again this season because he’s one of those horses that doesn’t take a lot of racing.”
JOCKEY Will Kennedy, who lives at Stanford in the Vale, was given a three-day ban for careless riding after finishing second on Ballyalton in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.