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Newbury

  • 14:10 GPG Novices' Chase 3m

  • (Registered As The Worcester Novices' Chase) (Grade 2) £24,000 added 4yo+ 4 ran
  • Winner £13,668 2nd £5,129 3rd £2,568 4th £1,279
  • Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 3.58s
  • Off time: 14:10:30

Full result

14:10 Newbury Result 24th November 2011
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Grands Crus (FR) 11-9 T Scudamore D Pipe 6 2/7f
Held up last, went close 2nd 14th, led 4 out, shaken up before last, driven to assert final 150 yards, stayed on well opened 2/7 touched 2/7 £300-£1000 £150-£500 £400-£1600
2nd 2 Sonofvic (IRE) 11-2 D A Jacob P F Nicholls 6 6/1
Tracked leading pair, not fluent 8th (water), not fluent 11th and next, not fluent and lost place 14th, rallied to 2nd next, not fluent 2 out, ridden between last 2, no extra and held final 150 yards opened 6/1 touched 13/2
3rd 13 Viking Blond (FR) 11-6 S Twiston-Davies N A Twiston-Davies 6 12/1
Led, ridden before 14th, headed and lost 2nd 4 out, no chance with leading duo next opened 12/1 touched 12/1
4th Alfie Spinner (IRE) 11-2 J Reveley Nick Williams 6 14/1
Chased leader until 14th, weakened next opened 16/1 touched 16/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £1.20
Straight Forecast: £2.48 Exacta: £2.10

Placepot: £125.00, Pool: £64874.84, 378.77 winning tickets
Quadpot: £9.10, Pool: £4956.47, 401.21 winning tickets

Verdict

A professional performance from GRANDS CRUS that lacked the electricity of his win at Cheltenham but one that represented a step forwards nevertheless. His fencing improved as the pace quickened and he outjumped his rivals with a particularly impressive leap at the tricky cross-fence; he is nimble at his fences and very quickly away and never looked in danger of falling. He eased to the front and watchers would have expected him to ease clear from that point but Tom Scudamore had to keep him up to his work to maintain the advantage. Paul Nicholls has won the last two renewals of this race with this season's leading Hennessy fancies Aiteen Thirtythree (a brother to the runner-up) and Michel Le Bon so it's fair to assume that Sonofvic is held in quite high regard and the point-to-point winner, who was unbeaten in two hurdles, stuck to his task and kept the winner honest. This was a relatively quick turn around for Grands Crus who, with a couple of exceptions, has tended to have his races fairly well spread out and may have come soon enough on the back of his reappearance. The Feltham is an obvious port of call for his next assignment although all options remain open and connections may still opt to drop him back in trip. That route is distinctly unlikely to be taken by Sonofvic who looked every inch the stayer in staying on gamely up the straight and connections reported that the RSA Chase is the plan but the six year old is reported to be a light sort who will have no more than one or two runs before the Festival. Viking Blond can expect to be busier than that and this was another solid performance from the Chepstow winner who would have preferred softer ground. He jumps well and is reported to be on track for the Welsh National, a race which should suit him down to the ground. He confirmed Chepstow form with Alfie Spinner who travelled and jumped well for much of the race and there was plenty of encouragement to be taken from this run. Softer ground would suit this son of Alflora and his shrewd handler should be able to place him to advantage in handicap company.