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Cheltenham

  • 15:05 StanJames.com International Hurdle 2m 1f

  • (Grade 2) £150,000 added 4yo+ 9 ran
  • Winner £85,515 2nd £32,085 3rd £16,065 4th £8,010
  • Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 3.40s
  • Off time: 15:06:40

Full result

15:05 Cheltenham Result 11th December 2010
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Menorah (IRE) 11-4 R Johnson P J Hobbs 5 7/4f
Held up in touch on inside, headway approaching 2 out, quickened to lead before last, ridden clear and well in command flat opened 9/4 touched 9/4 £2250-£1000 £1800-£800 £900-£400(x3) £1000-£500 £800-£400
2nd Cue Card 11-4 J Tizzard C L Tizzard 4 15/8
Held up mainly in 3rd, smooth headway to challenge 2 out, led narrowly between last 2, ridden and headed before last, no impression with winner flat, stayed on under pressure, held on for 2nd near finish opened 15/8 touched 15/8 £1000-£500 £3750-£2000 £1875-£1000 £750-£400
3rd ½ Silviniaco Conti (FR) 11-8 N Fehily P F Nicholls 4 5/2
Blundered 1st, tracked clear leader, led after 3 out, ridden and headed between last 2, kept on under pressure flat, just held for 2nd near finish opened 5/2 touched 11/4 £5500-£2000 £1000-£400
4th Clerk's Choice (IRE) 11-4 T Molloy M Banks 4 20/1
Held up behind on outside, headway to challenge 2 out, soon every chance, ridden and one pace approaching last, no extra flat opened 16/1 touched 20/1
5th Cristal Bonus (FR) 11-8 A P McCoy Evan Williams 4 25/1
Held up behind, effort to chase leaders on inside approaching 2 out, soon outpaced, no impression approaching last opened 20/1 touched 25/1
6th 2 Astracad (FR) 11-0 P J Brennan N A Twiston-Davies 4 40/1
Held up in touch, hit 4th, outpaced 2 out, never on terms opened 40/1 touched 40/1
7th 10 Nicene Creed 11-0 T J O'Brien P J Hobbs 5 66/1
Led and clear to before 3 out, headed soon after, weakened next opened 66/1 touched 66/1
8th 16 Der Spieler (GER) 11-0 B J Geraghty J G Coogan 5 50/1
Held up behind, short lived effort on outside approaching 2 out, soon ridden and weakened opened 40/1 touched 50/1
9th 12 Liberty Seeker (FR) 11-0 Matt Crawley John A Harris 11 250/1
Behind, outpaced 3 out, never dangerous opened 250/1 touched 250/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £2.60 Tote Place: £1.30,1.40,1.30
Straight Forecast: £5.23 Exacta: £5.30 Trifecta: £10.30 Swingers: 1&2:1.10 2&3:1.10 1&3:1.30

Jackpot: £3,033.90, Pool: £14956.06, 3.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £43.90, Pool: £225954.6, 3753.16 winning tickets
Quadpot: £14.60, Pool: £15397.45, 779.7 winning tickets

Verdict

MENORAH confirmed that ambitions of a tilt at the Champion Hurdle are far from a pipedream for the Phillip Hobbs team and he was able to sever the unbeaten records of two of the countries leading novices in the International Hurdle. The trainer has spoken at length of his belief as to how his five-year-old has improved over the summer and this effort was arguably more impressive than his Greatwood success. Sat well off the pace that his stable companion had set, Richard Johnson had his mount held in behind his market rivals at the second last and while they were allowed the luxury of the first run, he was able to deliver a knockout blow to his rivals by unleashing a fine turn of foot before the last. Cue Card looked the most likely winner as they were about to turn in and it would be churlish to crab him for finishing second. He jumped well and travelled kindly and though beaten, he cannot be accused of shirking the issue once coming off the bridle. He is set to have a break until February while connections ponder a possible target at the Festival. Silviniaco Conti did not jump with the same fluency as he did at Ascot and was comfortably held by the front two. Paul Nicholls suggested that he may well have ran up light after a number of recent runs and that he would be better suited by a more evenly run race. A tilt at a Champion Hurdle trial at Haydock or Wincanton looks the most likely option. Clerk's Choice left behind a poor run at Haydock Park and this is probably as good as he is. Cristal Bonus was very easy to back on his British debut and this listed performer in France kept on for pressure to be a remote fifth.