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Taunton

  • 13:10 toteexacta Novices' Chase2m 3f

  • £5,500 added 4yo+ 3 ran
  • Winner £3,764 2nd £1,097 3rd £549
  • Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 51.20s
  • Off time: 13:10:44

Men against boys

Hobbs ace still 12/1 for Arkle

Last Updated: 30/12/11 2:04pm

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Menorah: Off the mark over fences

Menorah: Off the mark over fences

Menorah made all the running to see off two rivals in the toteexacta Novices' Chase at Taunton.

Philip Hobbs' star was last seen in the International Hurdle but reverted successfully to the bigger obstacles under Richard Johnson.

His jumping wasn't always foot-perfect but started to warm up as the race progressed and it was soon clear that he had too much class for Suburban Bay and Royale's Charter, who eventually filled the forecast spot.

The 1/4 favourite made a bad blunder at the final fence when asked for a big jump, but stayed on his feet to the delight of Johnson and came home in isolation.

Hobbs said: "The plan is the Arkle and work backwards from there. "Ideally he wants good ground, which isn't too easy to find at the moment, and I'd like to give him some more practice.

"There's room for two runs before Cheltenham, if we want to.

"He came out of Richard's hands at the first, and at the last Richard thought he was going to stand off, and in fact he put down.

"But I thought he jumped everything else really well."

Sky Bet left the winner unchanged at 12/1 for the 2012 Arkle.

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