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Erne River giving Nick Kent plenty to look forward to

Nick Kent looks to have a promising novice on his hands after Erne River scored a second victory over fences at Wetherby.

The seven-year-old was victorious on his chasing debut at Doncaster in January, crossing the line six lengths ahead of Beakstown after an assured round of jumping.

As a result he was the 1-2 favourite for the Wetherby outing, a price he more than justified when running to an unchallenged 13-length success over four rivals in the Racing TV In Stunning HD Novices’ Chase.

Conditions in West Yorkshire were more challenging than Erne River has encountered previously, with strong winds and soft ground causing the gelding to travel slightly less fluently than he had done on his prior Doncaster victory.

“I’m really pleased, I was concerned about the ground and he didn’t look as happy as he can do,” said Kent.

“I suppose that’s the sign of a good horse, he’s gone and done it on ground that wouldn’t be ideal for him.

“Charlie (Hammond) said that every time he asked and squeezed him, he did find a bit, he kept finding.

“Charlie was delighted with him. When you’re watching it you don’t know what the jockey is feeling and I thought they didn’t look to be going very fast and it all looked hard work, but Charlie was really pleased with him.”

Kent would now like to find his stable star another similar race in which he can gain experience before considering a high-calibre assignment in the spring.

The Grade One Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree and the Grade Two Future Champion Novices’ Chase at Ayr are both possible goals for the horse and he may head straight to one of them if a suitable race cannot be found beforehand.

“We’re just running out of time, really,” said Kent.

“We’ll see how he comes out of this, we may have to go to Aintree without another run.

“We’ll see what there is, I haven’t looked to see what there is before Aintree if we go there – there is a race at Ayr as well.”

Erne River runs in the same silks as Kent’s six-time winning hurdler Mick Maestro, with both horses owned by the same Crossed Fingers Partnership that were involved in horses such as God’s Own, Double Shuffle, Bun Doran and Big Fella Thanks.

“They own Mick Maestro with us, they’re good owners and they’ve had some nice horses over the years,” Kent said of the connections.

“It’s been great, they’ve given us the support.

“We’re a small yard and it’s a bit of a gamble for them to send horses to a yard like ours and hopefully we’re repaying them.”

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