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Cheltenham

  • 13:10 Independent Newspaper Novices' Chase 2m

  • (Registered As The November Novices' Chase) (Grade 2) £24,000 added 4yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner £13,668 2nd £5,129 3rd £2,568 4th £1,279
  • Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 54.80s
  • Off time: 13:12:22

Full result

13:10 Cheltenham Result 13th November 2011
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Al Ferof (FR) 11-2 R Walsh P F Nicholls 6 5/6f
Tracked clear pair, close up 4 out, went 2nd going well after next, upsides 2 out, led before last, quickened clear flat, comfortably opened 10/11 touched 10/11 £3000-£3000 £2000-£2000 £1000-£1000(x8) £500-£500 £400-£400 £5000-£5500(x2) £1000-£1100(x3) £545-£600 £800-£1000(x2) £400-£500
2nd 7 Astracad (FR) 11-2 S Twiston-Davies N A Twiston-Davies 5 13/2
Held up in 4th, close up 4 out, led and hit next, joined next, driven and headed approaching last, kept on same pace in clear 2nd, no chance with winner flat opened 8/1 touched 8/1
3rd 37 Maggio (FR) 11-2 B Hughes P Griffin 6 40/1
Behind, struggling 10th, 6th and last approaching last, stayed on to go moderate 3rd flat, no chance with leading pair opened 33/1 touched 40/1
4th Court In Session (IRE) 11-2 R Johnson M Keighley 6 11/2
Led narrowly and clear with one other, headed 5th, led again 7th, hit and headed 3 out, weakened next opened 6/1 touched 6/1
5th L'Eldorado (FR) 11-2 T Messenger C C Bealby 6 25/1
With leader and clear, led 5th to 7th, lost place approaching 3 out, soon weakened opened 25/1 touched 25/1
6th 4 Bellvano (GER) 11-6 A P McCoy N J Henderson 7 5/1
Raced keenly, held up behind, blundered 10th, chased leaders 3 out, well beaten 3rd when hit next, weakened and lost place flat opened 9/2 touched 5/1 £5500-£1000 £2500-£500
F Delphi Mountain (IRE) 11-6 D G Hogan Denis Hogan 6 16/1
Blundered 1st, in rear, mistake 3rd, lost touch 5th, fell next opened 12/1 touched 16/1
NR Lancetto (FR) 11-8 Paul Moloney Evan Williams 6
NR Toubab (FR) 11-2 N Fehily P F Nicholls 5

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £1.90 Tote Place: £1.60,2.70
Straight Forecast: £6.81 Exacta: £5.50 Trifecta: £99.30 Swingers: 1&2:2.00 2&3:16.10 1&3:7.60

Jackpot: £28,102.12 carried forward to Wolverhampton, 14th Nov
Placepot: £19.70, Pool: £223987.9, 8264.68 winning tickets
Quadpot: £12.90, Pool: £12199.46, 698.75 winning tickets

Verdict

Bar one or two overly-safe jumps, an impressive round put in by AL FEROF and no surprise that his odds were trimmed for the Arkle as a result. Like current favourite Peddlers Cross, he stays more than two miles and although there was a slight worry that he might be done for speed here, he brushed aside those fears as if squatting a fly. His jumping as mentioned was generally very good, and he looks a neat and tidy fencer, something which will obviously be put to the test when he steps up in grade. As to regards the form of this win, well it's nothing special, but he didn't come out of first gear to win by seven lengths. Having won a Supreme Novices' he's not devoid of pace, but he was slightly outpaced that day before rallying and it would be no surprise if he tries 2m 4f over fences this season, with the Jewson Novices' Chase at the Festival unlikely to be ruled out as an alternative to the Arkle. Astracad was second, and although he has won over fences and since performed with credit at Aintree, he has been exposed under his penalty. A return to more positive tactics should see him back in the winners' enclosure at one of the smaller tracks however, but he's not going to be the easiest to place this year. The early pace set by Court In Motion and L'Eldorado was positively suicidal, and it's no surprise that both were spent forces when challenged by the big boys before the turn for home. Court In Session, making his debut over fences, jumped well in the main although a tendency to jump out to his right obviously isn't ideal if he wants to come back to the track later in the season. Maggio plugged on for a distant third but was never likely to feature, and he benefitted from being ridden with restraint and totally avoiding the early dash. Bellvano has now run a couple of stinkers at the track and evidently isn't a big fan of the hill. He was given a patient ride by McCoy and made up his ground nicely however his finishing effort was limp and he was well beaten in the end.