BANBURY-BASED Ben Case praised jockey Leighton Aspell for performing heroics after Deep Trouble gave him the biggest win of his 14-year training career with a dramatic success at Sandown on Saturday.
The six-year-old burst through approaching the last flight of the Listed Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts December Handicap Hurdle, only to jink violently right after jumping the obstacle.
It looked for a heart-stopping moment as if Aspell might be unseated, but he kicked his legs out of the irons before driving the 7-1 shot out to beat Urbain De Sivola by a length to land the £28,475 first prize.
Case, who trains at Edgcote, said: “I didn’t want him to get there too soon, but he has his own ideas a little bit.
“He has an engine though and Leighton did a fantastic job to stay on him.
“When he has got to the rail, almost with his irons out, it looked like it helped him to get going again.”
Case turned to Aspell with Daryl Jacob and Wayne Hutchinson unavailable, and he added: “I wanted someone who would be cool on the horse, and knew he would do the job.”
Deep Trouble wore a hood, and Case said: “He is just quite keen and a little bit nervy. I don’t think he is ungenuine. We are only just figuring out how to ride him now.”
Aspell added: “Just when he got in front there, I have gone from being a good winner on to a different horse.
“I got my feet out (of the irons) and luckily I had enough energy to hang on.
“It gives me great pleasure because for a split second you have lost it and nine times out of ten you will land on your arse and be cursing, but today luckily he stayed underneath me, and with enough energy to hang on.
“It is great to have winners on the Saturdays and on TV. It just raises the profile.”
Reflecting on by far his biggest success, Case said: “We have just got some nicer horses. Usually we sell those horses, but I got to keep this one.
“Having nice horses like that showcases that I can train them as well.”
The gelding carries the colours of Lady Jane Grosvenor, who has supported Case since he started training, and he added: “She has been a fantastic owner and great for the sport. The heritage goes back a long way and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her.”
Now he will consider future plans for the son of Shantou.
“Today was where we were going to go,” he said.
“We would have gone to Cheltenham, but I felt it ended up being a 140 (rated) handicap rather than a 150.
“He ran very well last time and came out of the race so well that I thought I might as well go for a 50 grand pot rather than run in a 12 grand next week, so it worked out.”