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Aintree

  • 14:00 International Festival For Business 2014 Top Novices' Hurdle 2m 110y

  • (Grade 2) £60,000 added 4yo+ 10 ran
  • Winner £34,170 2nd £12,822 3rd £6,420 4th £3,198
  • Going: Good to Soft (National: Good to Soft, Good in places)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 59.50s
  • Off time: 14:00:30

Josses Hill gained some Cheltenham compensation at Aintree

Last Updated: 04/04/14 2:44pm

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Josses Hill scored in the opening contest under Barry Geraghty

Josses Hill scored in the opening contest under Barry Geraghty

Cheltenham Festival runner-up Josses Hill went one better with an authoritative display under Barry Geraghty in the International Festival For Business 2014 Top Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.

Having found only the hugely-impressive Vautour too strong in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park last month, the Nicky Henderson-trained Josses Hill was a 6-4 favourite for his Grade Two assignment on Merseyside.

The well-backed market-leader moved sweetly into the home straight, but Supreme fourth Sgt Reckless quickly loomed up as a big danger.

Mick Channon's charge looked likely to come out on top after joining Josses Hill at the head of affairs after jumping the second last, but the Seven Barrows runner was in control jumping the final obstacle and stayed on best on the run-in to score by six lengths.

Irish raider King Of The Picts finished off his race strongly to pick up minor honours in third.

Geraghty said: "He's very genuine and he tries. He didn't travel and jump as well as I'd like and he's had a busy enough time, but he really responds.

"I knew I'd stay well and soon after AP (McCoy, on Sgt Reckless) joined me, I knew I had the measure of him.

"He met a very good horse at Cheltenham and I think he's a horse with a massive future over fences."

Henderson said: "It was a good performance. It's been a good race for us with horses that have been second at Cheltenham - Darlan and My Tent Or Yours last year. I think he did it really well.

"It's been a good race for us and for those that didn't quite win at Cheltenham.

"I think this horse is a chaser. I can't believe he won't be going chasing next year. We'll see. There's a long summer to think about it.

"He's a lovely looking horse. He looks like a chaser and he gallops as well as he looks. He looks like an Arkle horse to me.

"He was second to our own horse Royal Boy in a Grade One at Kempton, so he deserved to get a good prize at the end of the day and he's been consistent all the year through."

Channon felt the rain that fell on Thursday night may have cost Sgt Reckless. He said: "He has run well - he could have done without that bit of rain that fell last night - but there are no excuses.

"I think they (owners) are thinking of going chasing next season, but I'm not sure what we'll do. He has a lot of speed and a lot of class. He'll probably go to Punchestown."

Pat Shanahan, trainer of third-placed King Of The Picts, said: "I'm pleased, every time he has run in Grade One company he has been placed.

"We can freshen him up for the Grade One at Punchestown."

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