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June 21, 2024
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My Silver Lining fends off the fast-finishing Galia Des Liteaux to land Classic Chase


There is no harm in keeping the mother-in-law happy and James Best did just that when enjoying the greatest day of his career with a family success in the Wigley Group Classic Chase aboard My Silver Lining.

The Emma Lavelle-trained eight-year-old is owned by Celia Djivanovic, the mother of Best’s wife Izzi, and they were on course along with the rider’s sons Eddie and Ollie to cheer home My Silver Lining to a game success over fellow mare Galia Des Liteaux.

Jumping is the name of the game and particularly comes into focus at Warwick, and My Silver Lining met her fences with pinpoint accuracy, allowing Best to kick on for home after the last in the back straight.

Galia Des Liteaux was seeking to add to Dan Skelton’s across-the-card 3,318-1 six-timer and looked a big threat in the home straight, but My Silver Lining kept finding and repelled her challenge on the run-in for a three-quarters-of-a-length victory. Guetapan Collonges was 12 lengths back in third.

Best, who punched the air on returning to the winner’s enclosure, said: “It’s just absolutely magic to win a big race like this given the family connection, and to have my wife and two boys here means the absolute world. This is genuinely the best day of my career.

“My Silver Lining is just a superstar, she doesn’t know how to give in. She’s as tough as they come and I’m very grateful to Emma as she had her spot on.

“She got into such a lovely rhythm and it all went to plan. She had a lovely weight and we felt if we were going to have a go at a race like this then today was the day, but hopefully we’re just scratching the surface with her.

“I’ve been very fortunate and grateful to have some wonderful days in my career. It’s not easy this game and just when you need a horse to come along, she has.”

My Silver Lining (James Best) jumps the last fence to win the Classic Handicap Chase

My Silver Lining jumps the last on the way to Classic Chase successCredit: Edward Whitaker

Two Becher Chase wins aboard the Robert Walford-trained Walk On The Mill feature on Best’s CV and he landed the Grimthorpe Chase on the Seamus Mullins-trained Moroder last season. 

Best gave up the ride on Moroder at Kempton on Saturday to partner My Silver Lining and it is a measure of the man that he expressed his guilt at not being able to be in two places at once.

He said: “I had such a tough decision. Moroder won the Grimthorpe for me in March and I felt so bad for getting off him. 

“I felt like I had let the connections down but coming here to ride an in-form mare for the family seemed the sensible decision. I’m so thrilled it has paid off.”

It was a third victory in the race for Lavelle, who struck with Shotgun Paddy in 2014 and Eclair Surf two years ago. My Silver Lining did not go unbacked, returning at 17-2 having been available at 16-1 on Saturday morning.

Lavelle’s husband Barry Fenton pinpointed the £150,000 Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter on March 16 as a possible next target.

Fenton said: “This race is about staying and jumping and that’s exactly what she does. She must be a dream to ride as her jumping is brilliant – you couldn’t get enough fences for her – and James gave her a great ride.

“The Midlands National could be a possibility. Testing ground is ideal for her and these long-distance chases are what she’s all about.”

The Randox Grand National is not a likely option for My Silver Lining, but runner-up Galia Des Liteaux is set to be entered having run a mighty race in giving 20lb to the winner.

Skelton’s assistant Tom Messenger said: “She’s run a great race and stayed the trip well. They were two brave mares out there. We’ll have to give her an entry in the Grand National on the back of that.”


Read more . . .

‘Very exciting’ Grey Dawning stars in 3,318-1 across-the-card six-timer for Dan Skelton 

It’s Tristan Durrell’s day as young rider enjoys high-profile double including Lanzarote on 33-1 Jay Jay Reilly 

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