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Sandown Park

  • 13:55 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle 2m 4f

  • (Registered As The Winter Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 2) £21,200 added 4yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner £12,073 2nd £4,530 3rd £2,268 4th £1,130
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 10.50s
  • Off time: 13:55:23

Fingal keeps Simonsig at Bay

Hobbs ace does the business

Last Updated: 02/12/11 5:16pm

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Fingal Bay (L) sees off Simonsig at Sandown

Fingal Bay (L) sees off Simonsig at Sandown

Fingal Bay had to dig deep but eventually won the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle well from Simonsig at Sandown.

Philip Hobbs' star was off the bridle turning for home but put in two fine leaps at the flights up the home straight under Richard Johnson.

The strong-travelling Simonsig was hot on his heels but Fingal Bay was driven clear after the final hurdle to record a comprehensive success as the 4/5 favourite.

The runner-up was well-clear of the third home, Barbatos, and ran a fine race under Barry Geraghty but just couldn't match the winner late on.

Paul Nicholls' Jump City was well-beaten in fourth, just ahead of the front-runner Sizing Symphony who got tired in the final half a mile.

Hobbs said: "I'm obviously delighted with him. You would probably say the Challow Hurdle (Newbury, December 31) would be the next obvious option.

"He's been running over two and a half and he will want three one day, but we will decide on what race he goes to at Cheltenham nearer the time."

Henderson was equally satisfied with the runner-up, adding: "It was a great run. Barry (Geraghty) said that the rain that got into the ground probably didn't help him.

"He will probably have one more run somewhere then a break before we think about Cheltenham."

Bookmaker reaction

The winner is now 5/1 (from 8s) with Skybet for the Neptune Investment Management Hurdle at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival, although Boylesports were more impressed going 4/1. Simonsig is 10/1 from 14/1 for the same race.

Simonsig is also unchanged with Boylesports at 8/1 for the 'Albert Bartlett' at the Cheltenham Festival, although Sky Bet quote him at 14/1 (from 20s) for the Supreme Novices' whilst leaving him unchanged at 14/1 for the Neptune.

Boyelsports spokesman Will Reilly said: "Fingal Bay has bags of scope, stays well and can battle. Linked with class, these are fine qualities.

"Simonsig travelled well until the Sandown hill and a quality opponent found him out. He remains promising."

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