Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Lee Puts Durham on Top of World

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Lee Puts Durham on Top of World

Article excerpt

Graham Wylie's massive investment in racing reaped its biggest reward yet when Inglis Drever surged clear of Baracouda to land the pounds 200,000 Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham yesterday.

It was a third victory of the week for the multi-millionaire owner, his County Durham trainer Howard Johnson and jockey Graham Lee following Arcalis and No Refuge.

Having started the week as Festival 'virgins', Wylie and Lee still seemed as genuinely stunned with yesterday's success as with their first, and the Cheltenham crowd welcomed them into the winner's enclosure as their own.

Having his first try at this three-mile trip, Inglis Drever (5-1) powered to the front at the last and was far too strong for 6-5 favourite Baracdouda up the hill, scoring by three lengths.

Rule Supreme did nothing wrong and was a creditable third, only another three-quarters of a length behind.

Inglis Drever had not looked to be going that well early on, and having jumped the penultimate flight in sixth place, Lee threw everything at him.

Galloping home strongly, the six-year-old saw out every yard of the race in style.

"I never usually shake, but watching that race made me shake a little bit because I love this horse," said Johnson.

"I knew he'd come up the hill. We've got one that's high and steep at home. When he's on form he goes up our hill great.

"That's the secret about training our horses - going up steep hills. It seems to get their wind right and helps them be fit and healthy.

"I knew he was well when I saddled him up. We call him 'Popeye' at home and when his eyes were popping right out I knew it was a good sign.

"If he's in good fettle, he might go to Liverpool, and if not he'll be back next season.

"The irony is that he wouldn't have run here had Royal Rosa not done a tendon at Kempton. …

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