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December 2022: A month supreme for jumping enthusiasts

Sandown's triumph of the heavyweight king

Presumably nursing a hangover, for Alan King's stable star, Boxing Day was time better spent tucked up at home. Five in at Kempton, Edwardstone unseated Tom Cannon, heading clear of the Desert Orchid field alone. "No one tell him that doesn't count!" laughed one post, as a riderless Edwardstone jumped ahead of arch rival Funambule Sivola. It didn't. But, for a campaign with faults inbuilt, this was no matter, for the chase of consequence was the one that did.

On 3rd December, pulling clear of Shishkin and Greanteen, Sandown's roaring crowd saw Funambule Sivola stumble to last in the Tingle Creek, Edwardstone leading from two out. In 2021, at the same meeting, it was Edwardstone who'd given Cannon his first Grade 1 success (in the Henry VIII). In 2022, reunited after an all but unbeaten season to April, he saluted a horse whose bond should carry him all the way to Cheltenham, and to much-deserved glory in the Queen Mother.