Czech Republic: Pardubice
127th Velka Pardubicka S Ceskou Pojistovnou (Chase) (Listed) | 4m2½f | 6yo+ | Turf
Josef Váňa snr may no longer be riding in the Velka Pardubicka but that is not enough to keep the race's most successful jockey out of the winner's enclosure as No Time To Lose came from well back to give him a ninth victory in the Czech Republic's most famous race as a trainer.
For much of the contest the Jan Kratochvil-ridden eight-year-old barely merited a mention, with the race seemingly at the mercy of Cheltenham Trials Day winner Urgent De Gregaine, trained by the Emmanuel Clayeux and ridden by Felix de Giles. But as the field straightened up and came to the last in this marathon test the seemingly strong-travelling leader began to falter and No Time To Lose clicked into overdrive.
Turning in there looked to be only one winner as De Giles was cruising with a five-length advantage on his nearest pursuer Ange Guardian – also trained by Váňa and partnered by his son Josef jnr.
But as the front two faltered, undone by an unforgiving gallop for four miles across ploughed fields and over all manner of obstacles in what is horseracing's answer to wacky races, those who were ridden with more restraint came flying through.
The 6-1 shot No Time To Lose overhauled 14-1 chance Urgent De Gregaine to win the £63,171 winner's cheque by a length, with the 11-1 hope Delight My Fire taking third a further seven lengths adrift.
Another horse trained by Váňa, 2-1 shot Zarif, took fourth a further 13 lengths back with Váňa jnr coming home in fifth to maintain his 100 per cent record of missing out on the places on his tenth attempt.
The winner further established his Derby-winning sire Authorized as a source of stoute staying jumps horses after Nichols Canyon won the Stayers' Hurdle and Tiger Roll the four-miler at this year's Cheltenham Festival.