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Cheltenham

  • 14:05 Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase 2m

  • (Grade 1) £130,000 added 5yo+ 10 ran
  • Winner £74,113 2nd £27,807 3rd £13,923 4th £6,942
  • Going: Good (G/Soft plcs)(Cross Country: G/Firm, Good plcs)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 51.70s
  • Off time: 14:05:14

Full result

14:05 Cheltenham Result 15th March 2011
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Captain Chris (IRE) 11-7 R Johnson P J Hobbs 7 6/1
Held up in touch, switched inside and headway 4 out, chased leader after next, switched right to challenge 2 out, ridden to lead after last, stayed on well flat opened 15/2 touched 15/2 £10000-£1200 £5000-£600 £10000-£1300 £5000-£700
2nd Finian's Rainbow (IRE) 11-7 B J Geraghty N J Henderson 8 7/2
With leaders on outside, led 8th, hard pressed 2 out, soon ridden, headed after last, kept on same pace under pressure flat, no extra towards finish opened 9/2 touched 9/2 £27000-£6000 £9000-£2000 £8000-£2000 £4000-£1000(x3)
3rd 6 Realt Dubh (IRE) 11-7 P Carberry N Meade 7 17/2
Mid-division on inside, chased leaders 3 out, effort and every chance next, soon ridden and kept on same pace, no impression with leading pair flat opened 8/1 touched 17/2 £10000-£1000 £5000-£600
4th ¾ Medermit (FR) 11-7 R Thornton A King 7 11/4f
Held up in last trio, 7th and ridden 4 out, headway under pressure to chase leaders on inside approaching 2 out, kept on same pace flat, never reached leaders opened 3/1 touched 3/1 £30000-£10000 £1500-£5000 £3000-£1000(x4) £2750-£1000
5th 19 Ghizao (GER) 11-7 Timmy Murphy P F Nicholls 7 4/1
Held up in touch, headway to chase leading pair when blundered 4 out, ridden after next, kept on until one pace and no impression approaching last opened 7/2 touched 4/1 £20000-£5000 £4000-£1000
6th Giorgio Quercus (FR) 11-7 P J Brennan N J Henderson 6 33/1
Held up in last trio, struggling 8th, weakened 3 out opened 25/1 touched 33/1
7th ½ Dan Breen (IRE) 11-7 T Scudamore D Pipe 6 20/1
With leader on inside, ridden and lost place after 3 out, weakened from next opened 16/1 touched 20/1
8th 20 Rock Noir (FR) 11-7 A P McCoy Jonjo O'Neill 6 14/1
Held up in last trio, hit 3rd, switched outside 7th (water), ridden and outpaced 4 out, never on terms, weakened next, tailed off opened 12/1 touched 14/1 £20000-£1400 £5000-£350
9th hd Stagecoach Pearl 11-7 S Byrne Mrs S J Smith 7 40/1
Led to 8th, chased leaders, weakened 4 out, tailed off opened 40/1 touched 40/1
PU West With The Wind 11-7 Paul Moloney Evan Williams 6 33/1
Chased leaders, hit 3rd, lost place when hit 5th, behind from next, tailed off 4 out, pulled up before next opened 28/1 touched 33/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £7.00 Tote Place: £2.20,2.00,2.60
Straight Forecast: £26.27 Exacta: £28.90 Trifecta: £149.00 Swingers: 1&2:3.50 2&3:6.70 1&3:7.80

Jackpot: £142,083.50, Pool: £200117.69, 1.0 winning tickets
Placepot: £60.60, Pool: £970517.56, 11686.68 winning tickets
Quadpot: £9.30, Pool: £40783.77, 3221.34 winning tickets

Verdict

No-one could say that he didn't deserve this victory, after finishing in the first two in all of his starts over fences, and in the end it was a relatively straightforward win for CAPTAIN CHRIS. Philip Hobbs had had long discussions with his owners, Graham and Diana Whateley, about whether to go for this race or the new Jewson race, but boy did they choose right. He was settled nicely by Richard Johnson into a pairing with Ghizao just behind a leading trio of Dan Breen, Finian's Rainbow and Stagecoach Pearl, and he jumped as well as he had done on his previous start at Kempton. He was pushed along at the top of the hill to keep tabs on the strong-travelling Finian's Rainbow, but he jumped the last three fences as well as Nicky Henderson's charge which was one of the keys to this success. Drawing level before the last, he was steadied into it by Johnson and although he hung right a little in the final 100 yards, there was no doubt that he had broken the heart of Finian's Rainbow by then. The runner-up jumped like a stag throughout, and was really just a little unlucky to bump into a better horse on the day. His jockey Barry Geraghty looked confident as his horse free-wheeled down the hill and whilst he battled on all the way to the line, his goose looked before the last fence. He has plenty of class and looks a future Champion Chase candidate, whilst the winner may be more of a force over slightly longer races. Third home was Realt Dubh, and he ran very well. This was miles more competitive than the Irish version he won earlier in the season, and whilst he travelled well for a long way, one always got the impression that he was going a tad quicker than he could truly cope with. He is a strapping individual who will tackle three miles in time and it is to his credit that he saw off a determined Medermit for third. His performance had plenty of negatives and positives. Jockey Robert Thornton never looked pleased with him, and the horse seemed to be taken out of his comfort zone by the strong gallop. A fiddly jump at the first seemed to rock him, and he was far from fluent at several later fences, including before the top of the hill which really stopped him in his tracks. On the plus side, he did ever so well to get himself anywhere near the leaders down the hill and he plugged on all the way for the line without ever threatening the first two home. One assumes that he will be back up in trip wherever he heads to next. Ghizao was prominent in the betting and he soared over the first few fences. However he was a bit low at one of the fences down the back stretch and he then made a shuddering error at the ninth fence. Asked for a big one by Timmy Murphy, just as the race was developing, he took off far too early and almost landed on the fence. To his credit he squeezed himself back into contention but the error took its toll and he was beaten before the turn for home. Dan Breen and Stagecoach Pearl paid the price for trying to live with a strong early gallop as neither has the class of Finian's Rainbow, whilst Rock Noir didn't jump with any fluency and he never looked like featuring following several bad mistakes; he has something to prove now, although deeper ground and a slower pace may see him in a better light.