There can be little doubt that the suspension of the Point-to-Point season has rejuvenated the Hunter Chase calendar. Every Hunter Chase since the calendar began in January has been well populated, better indeed than one would have a right to expect from the Open races they are replacing.
So much so that today's Leicester card in heavy ground saw two divisions of the Dick Saunders Memorial Hunters Chase for Novices. The ground didn't prevent Bradley Gibbs from clocking his second success of the week with Premier Magic, ridden out to a 3/4l victory over No Limitations. Connor Brace once again picked up the ride, maintaining the Welsh connection.
Premier Magic is already a winner this term at Chaddesley Corbett in early December's Wheatland meeting behind closed doors. On that occasion he saw off some big names like Wishing and Hoping, and he reinforced his reputation today against a sustained challenge from No Limitations.
It begs the question of whether he merits an entry in the Foxhunter. Whilst this was a Novices race, there were Open winners among the field he beat.
Hats off to Leicester for the division, which produced their two biggest fields of the day by some distance.
There are three more Hunters chases later this week, plus an additional one to the planned schedule at Musselburgh on Monday, making a maximum 6 remaining opportunities to qualify for the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase at the Festival.
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