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Sir Ivan gained a deserved reward for his consistency with a pleasing success in the Veterans’ Handicap Chase at Newbury on Saturday 6 March.
There was a time when I felt that the bigger obstacles were not to his liking as in the past he tended to make too many mistakes.
But he is one of our horses rejuvenated by the move to Higher Crockermoor in the summer and he has run very well on all starts this season, initially over hurdles at Aintree and then over fences, most recently when finishing an excellent third in the Veterans Chase Final in deep ground at Sandown in December.
Sir Ivan was given a patient ride at Newbury by Lorcan Murtagh who gets such a good tune out of him. Lorcan quietly eased him into contention turning for home, and made ground stealthily in the straight before they took up the running going to the final fence.
Once in front, Sir Ivan tended to idle but he was always in control and kept on to beat Valadom by one-and-a-half-lengths. This was the first time he had won a race in excess of three miles and his victory qualified him for the final of the series at Sandown at the start of 2002.
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