Aidan Coleman has admitted to a mistake but still feels dead-heat Fighting Fifth win was a "good result"
Aidan Coleman has admitted to a mistake but still feels dead-heat Fighting Fifth win was a "good result"

Jockey Aidan Coleman says you never want to be sharing Grade 1 victories but he is still happy to be walking away with a dead-heat win after Saturday's Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. 

Coleman partnered the Nicky Henderson-trained Epatante in the Newcastle finale and the duo looked like they were on course to take the victory outright after edging ahead in the closing straight. 

However, Not So Sleepy, from Hughie Morrison's yard, produced a terrific effort to battle to the end and dive in between Epatante and Sceau Royal, who just didn't have enough and had to settle for third position. 

Not So Sleepy, under the guidance of J J Burke, pulled level with Epatante and the duo couldn't be separated at the finish line, with a closer look at the replay confirming it was a dead heat. 

It was a thrilling finish to a fantastic card at Newcastle, which managed to go ahead despite Storm Arwen causing havoc.

Coleman admitted to making some mistakes although he is happy to be sharing the win at least. 

"You always want to win, especially Grade 1s, you don't want to be sharing them but at the same time it's a good result. I had to commit a bit early and she's run really well because I wasn't really happy with her on that ground," he said, as quoted by the Racing Post. 

"It was quite hard work and I wasn't going as well as I'd have liked two out and I ended up making a mistake because I really committed her and I shouldn't have done, I should have held on to her and nursed her a bit. She dug it out and the other horse is very tough as well." 

Of the other three runners in the race, the Evan Williams-trained Silver Streak was fourth, while Monmiral took fifth ahead of Voix Du Reve

Monmiral made little impact for Paul Nicholls in Fighting Fifth
Monmiral made little impact for Paul Nicholls in Fighting Fifth

Monmiral was making his first start out of juvenile company and although trainer Paul Nicholls got the rain he wanted ahead of the contest, his charge weakened as the race went on and failed to make any real impact. 

As for Epatante, connections will be hoping there are enough positives to take from her performance ahead of a potential shot at the Champion Hurdle at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival. 

The seven-year-old claimed the spoils at Prestbury Park back in 2020, holding off Sharjah in second, before Henderson's charge fell short in her title defence last year when ending up third.

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