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  • 13:25 Sir Tristram Ricketts Novices' Chase3m 110y

  • £22,000 added 5yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner: £
  • Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 45.70s
  • Off time: 13:25:34

Ballyfitz Too Strong For Big Fella

Last Updated: 19/02/09 12:12pm

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Ballyfitz is clear at Cheltenham.

Ballyfitz is clear at Cheltenham.

Nigel Twiston-Davies will plot a route to the Royal & SunAlliance Chase next March with Ballyfitz after he put his love for the track to good use in the Sir Tristram Ricketts Novices' Chase.

The eight-year-old was a winner of the Pertemps Final over timber at the Festival last year, and now has a date at the 2009 gathering after his thumping victory.

Paddy Brennan had the 4-1 chance jumping competently at the head of affairs and a solid leap at the second-last propelled him clear, allowing him to collect by 11 lengths from 11-8 favourite Big Fella Thanks.

The winner was given a general 16-1 chance for the SunAlliance, and his trainer said: "He will come back here for the next meeting and keep practising to get it right for the Festival.

"He has given 7lb to that lot and thrashed them. He could have given 14lb and still won.

"He is improving and you see few horses jumping round here and winning on the bridle."

Brennan was delighted, talling Racing UK: "The biggest thing with him is he stays very well. I knew two out it would take a good one to get past me. He was very good.

"He was very professional today and it's a case of one step at at time with him. The Royal & SunAlliance is a long way away but I was extremely pleased with the horse today."

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