One for the history books as Boite becomes first winner after declared wind op

The words of commentator Mark Johnson told the tale following the 2m3f Bathwick Tyres Seniors' Handicap Hurdle at Taunton on Saturday: "When they ask the quiz question in the pub at Christmas: who was the first horse to win after a noted wind operation? The answer is . . . Boite."

Warren Greatrex's eight-year-old made all under a positive ride from Gavin Sheehan, repelling all challengers to win by 11 lengths on his first start since a soft-palate cauterisation.
Boite, a son of Authorized, was supported into 7-4 favourite from a morning price of 7-2.

Olly Kozak, assistant trainer to Greatrex, said: “I think the wind operation has been a big help for Boite. Last time at Wincanton, Gavin [Sheehan] felt he got a bit tired turning in and his wind was stopping him, so we've given him a little op and it's helped his confidence.

"Gavin said down the back straight he was half holding on and wondering if it was going to stop him – and you never put them under that pressure at home –  but when he turned in he realised everything was good and he won well.

“We had no worries about the ground, but he's quite versatile and maybe we'll look at something at Cheltenham. I think there might be a nice handicap in him somewhere.”

Earlier on the card, Robin Dickin's Vocaliser won for the second time since having a tie-forward procedure and the sides of his larynx lasered in the summer.

The six-year-old, a winner on his first start following the operation at Leicester in December, finished second at that track earlier this month and returned to winning ways under Charlie Poste in the 2m handicap chase for novices this afternoon.

There was nearly a double on the day for the two runners appearing after a noted wind operation with Harry Fry's American Gigolo narrowly denied in the 1m4f maiden at Lingfield.

The other intended runner following a wind operation for the day – the Richard Hannon-trained No More Thrills – was declared a non-runner in the morning.

Six race maiden Red Mohican (1.55 Chelmsford) is the only horse running on Sunday to have been declared as having a wind operation.

The filly's trainer Phil McEntee said: "Josephine [Gordon] rode her a few times and said she made a noise so she was scoped and she needed surgery. The proof will be in the pudding when she runs. We have a tongue strap on as well.

"I do think this is a complete waste of time as far as punters are concerned. For seven or eight out of ten horses it makes no difference. Unfortunately the punters are going to find that out."