Ahead of the Paddy Power Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, Milton Harris was “hoping for a little divine intervention” for Hasty Parisian at Sandown.
Not that he did not fancy the 13-8 favourite. He wanted the four-year-old to win for his loyal owners, The Hasty Parisian Partnership, a group that includes 92-year-old Ruth Nelmes.
Her husband, Norman, passed away a year ago and the two-mile contest was run on what should have been his birthday.
Hasty Parisian read the script perfectly in the four-runner contest, cruising up with the pace before drawing readily clear of main market rival Langfel, to score by eight and a half lengths under a fine ride from Kevin Jones.
Harris said: “I think with these juveniles, which I love having, he is not off the Flat, he has had little racing experience and his first couple of runs were all about that.
“We had the mother (Va’vite), she won five, I think. All the family have won and they are a proper little family without being super, as such.
“She has bred three foals and every one has won. The others were Presenting Yeats and Mr Yeats.
“The whole family want further and the family want fast ground. He will probably end up rated between 120 or 130. He is learning to race now and he is starting to jump better.
“But it is lovely for Ruth. Her husband, Norman, was a great owner of mine and he died early last year. It would have been his birthday today. He was probably looking down on her today. And smiling, hopefully.”