Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates another champion

If I Had Him, owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, was crowned champion horse in the Channel Islands after winning for the fifth time in 2013 on the final day of the season at Les Landes racecourse in Jersey.

The nine-year-old, trained by George Baker at Manton, completed a nap-hand of victories over hurdles under Mattie Batchelor. Despite his win, he could have been pipped for the title by Pas D'Action, but If I Had Him's stablemate I'm Harry came to his aid by beating that horse in the finale.

"If I Had Him, under an inspired ride by Mattie Batchelor, won the hurdle race by a neck giving over a stone to everything else," said Baker.

"That meant that if Pas D'Action won the last race that one would out-do us for champion horse, but we managed to train the winner of the last in I'm Harry, so we had a double. Pas D'Action was second and so Sir Alex Ferguson has the champion horse. I've told Sir Alex and he's absolutely delighted.

"It's a great thrill. Little fish are sweet, but he's supported this bit of madness from the beginning and it's come off.

"He's won five hurdle races here and in the meantime we drifted off to Ostend where he was the first English winner there for 10 years."

Meanwhile, Fiesolana is set to step up in grade after landing the third Group Three success of her career in the Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary on Thursday.

Trainer Willie McCreery will look at the Group One Qatar Prix de la Foret at Longchamp and the Group Two Dubai Challenge Stakes at Newmarket for the four-year-old.

"She's come out of it very well and is mad fresh," said the Curragh handler.

"She might go for the Foret on Arc weekend or we might run her on Champions Day over seven furlongs in the Challenge Stakes. We'll enter her in both races."