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Sandown Park

  • 13:55 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle 2m 4f

  • (Registered As The Winter Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 2) £21,200 added 4yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner £12,073 2nd £4,530 3rd £2,268 4th £1,130
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 10.50s
  • Off time: 13:55:23

Full result

13:55 Sandown Park Result 2nd December 2011
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Fingal Bay (IRE) 11-7 R Johnson P J Hobbs 5 4/5f
Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 4th, ridden to lead approaching 2 out, stayed on well to assert flat opened 10/11 touched evs £1100-£800 £550-£400 £1250-£1000 £625-£500 £500-£400(x3) £550-£500(x2) £1000-£1000 £600-£600 £500-£500(x4) £1000-£1100 £500-£600
2nd Simonsig 11-7 B J Geraghty N J Henderson 5 7/2
Held up in touch towards rear, headway 6th, not fluent next, went close 2nd going well 2 out, shaken up approaching last, ridden flat, no impression on winner, stayed on opened 9/4 touched 7/2 £900-£300
3rd 16 Barbatos (FR) 11-4 D C Costello Ian Williams 5 12/1
Held up in touch towards rear, not fluent 5th or 6th, ridden and outpaced by leaders when hit 2 out, well held when taking 3rd last opened 22/1 touched 22/1
4th 11 Jump City (FR) 11-7 R Walsh P F Nicholls 5 13/2
Tracked leaders, ridden approaching 2 out, soon beaten, weakened before last opened 7/1 touched 15/2
5th ¾ Sizing Symphony (IRE) 11-7 A E Lynch H De Bromhead 5 10/1
Led, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, weakened before next opened 14/1 touched 14/1
6th 41 The Strawberry One 10-11 J M Maguire D W P Arbuthnot 6 25/1
Held up in last, outpaced 6th, behind next, tailed off opened 40/1 touched 40/1
7th 38 Coral Point (IRE) 11-0 Paul Moloney A E Jessop 5 250/1
Took keen hold, pressed leader until after 4th, lost place next, tailed off opened 250/1 touched 250/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £1.80 Tote Place: £1.30,1.90
Straight Forecast: £3.80 Exacta: £4.40 Swingers: 1&2:1.10 2&3:5.40 1&3:2.60

Placepot: £319.40, Pool: £81050.33, 185.19 winning tickets
Quadpot: £29.40, Pool: £7281.33, 183.24 winning tickets

Verdict

Given the distance that the three-time winner Sizing Symphony was beaten, it's fair to assume that the first two home are very, very smart. FINGAL BAY had impressed with the way he overcame an error at Cheltenham, and his jumping here was assured despite a complete lack of pace. Richard Johnson had him in third or fourth for most of the way, before jumping through to dispute the lead as the pace quickened before the pond. He certainly came off the bridle before two out, as Simonsig loomed alongside and looked a massive danger, but he put in two quick and agile jumps and maintained a narrow lead. After the last he stepped on the gas again and pulled away for a deserved win, and one which suggests the step up to three miles at some point will hold no fears. Whether that will happen this season is still debatable, as there are now lots of options at Cheltenham, and a run in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury should help sort out which race he goes for. In truth, I'd rather back him for the Neptune race over 2m5f as it looks tailor-made for him. Simonsig ran very well, especially as he wasn't too fluent at the last on the far side. He still has a little to learn, but must have a real engine as he was still hard on the bridle turning in. Tacky ground seemed to find him out as much as the trip, but having said that it's hard to see how he would beat the winner at Cheltenham. A drop in trip for the Supreme Novices' looks a better move and he's certainly a horse to have on-side, having been unlucky to bump into a good one here. There was a yawning gap to the third home, which was Barbatos. He was second to the winner at Cheltenham but was beaten much further here and seemed to get outpaced before staying on. He's no world-beater but gives the form some substance, and will be of more interest up in trip/down in class next time. Jump City was another who was outpaced, but he responded ok to his rider's urgings turning in. He was another left behind but stayed on better than Sizing Symphony and shouldn't be judged harshly on this run. Sizing Symphony cut out the early dawdle, but he seemed to get tired very quickly when the pace started to hot up. His winning has been done on quick ground so this effort can be safely ignored, although he isn't in the same bracket as the first two home. Coral Point and The Strawberry One faced tough tasks and it showed from an early stage.