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Huntingdon

  • 15:35 Freebets.co.uk Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle2m 4f 110y

  • £17,500 added 4yo+ 5 ran
  • Winner: £
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 8.70s
  • Off time: 15:35:23

Minack Lands Sidney Banks

Last Updated: 25/02/10 5:57pm

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The Minack - won driven out.

The Minack - won driven out.

The Minack is only marking time before his chasing career begins but a victory in the freebets.co.uk Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon was not to be sniffed at.

While trainer Paul Nicholls is a little short of smart novices this term, few questions are likely to be asked of the burly six-year-old for the moment as he is a longer-term project.

He gained ground on his four rivals at many of the flights with some magnificent jumps, an asset that undoubtedly enabled him to lift the £8,668 first prize.

On chopped-up ground that seemed to be helping the front-runners, Sarando looked in position to follow suit but he fluffed the last and handed The Minack (5-2) and Nick Scholfield a crucial advantage as they drew alongside and eventually came home a length clear.

Nicholls' representative Harry Fry said: "He really is a good jumper, that has won it for him.

"He made a mistake at the top of the hill at Cheltenham and was looked after from that point but he went on to win well at Kempton.

"He's running for experience at the moment. He's next year's novice chaser - you'd hope he'd end up in something like next year's RSA Chase - and I think we'll just look after him this season."

The betting suggested Nicky Henderson's Master Of The Hall would join quite a useful list of previous winners including Time For Rupert and Refinement but the 8-13 favourite was a leaden-footed third.

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