The hugely versatile Indefatigable got her 2021/22 campaign off to the perfect start at Wetherby with victory over a classy field, including Paisley Park, in the G2 Bet 365 Hurdle.
Trained by Paul Webber and bred by John O’Connor, the daughter of Schiaparelli became the third mare in five years to win the race registered as the West Yorkshire Hurdle, and which is traditionally used to give the top-class staying hurdlers an early return to action.
Indefatigable arrived at Wetherby in great form having won a Flat maiden at Pontefract over a mile and a half just less than three weeks earlier. That fitness told and she eased away to win by two and three-quarter lengths from Proschema, with two and a half lengths back to Paisley Park. Her trainer suggested after the race that the 8-year-old could return to the Flat next summer, with a potential run at Royal Ascot on the cards.
“We thought we’d stay wide as the ground was a bit better and it suits her too. It couldn’t have worked out any better,” said Webber. “It depends on the weather entirely what we do. If it was dry she could go to Newbury for the Long Distance Hurdle, but she’s a mare and I must try to win a Grade One with her.”
He added, “It will probably be too wet by the Long Walk in December and the Ascot plan might be the Ascot Stakes in June. She just needs another run to get a handicap mark.
“She does thrive in the spring and summer. You could probably do the Mares’ or the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, maybe Punchestown, then you have still got six weeks before Ascot.”
It has been a good week for Schiaparelli, with the Heather Main-trained and -bred Numitor scoring over fences at Wetherby, while Dorking Boy, bred and raised at Overbury for Jerry Hinds, won a steeplechase at Ayr.