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Chepstow

  • 14:45 Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle 2m 110y

  • (Grade 1) £31,500 added 3yo 9 ran
  • Winner £17,939 2nd £6,732 3rd £3,370 4th £1,679
  • Going: Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 4.80s
  • Off time: 14:45:55

Full result

14:45 Chepstow Result 27th December 2011
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Hollow Tree 11-0 Timmy Murphy D McCain Jnr 3 13/8f
Made all, mistake 2nd, strongly challenged 2 out, hard ridden approaching last, stayed on well opened 15/8 touched 15/8 £3000-£1600 £1125-£600 £1750-£1000 £1400-£800(x3) £1050-£600 £700-£400(x6)
2nd Countrywide Flame 11-0 D C Costello J J Quinn 3 2/1
Raced keenly, tracked leaders, mistake 2nd, driven to challenge approaching 2 out, soon every chance, not fluent last, no extra flat opened 11/4 touched 11/4 £1100-£400 £1000-£500
3rd 11 Secret Edge 11-0 W Hutchinson A King 3 7/2
Held up in rear, headway 4 out, went 3rd next, stayed on under pressure, never able to challenge opened 10/3 touched 4/1 £1200-£300
4th 19 Kapga De Cerisy (FR) 11-0 Aidan Coleman Miss V Williams 3 12/1
Held up mid-division, headway halfway, soon chasing leaders, mistake 4 out, weakened after next, moderate 4th when mistake last opened 10/1 touched 12/1
5th ½ School For Scandal (IRE) 11-0 T Scudamore Jim Best 3 14/1
Keen hold, soon prominent, jumped slowly 3rd, hard driven 4 out, weakening when jumped left 2 out, faded opened 14/1 touched 14/1
6th 15 Chadford 11-0 R Walford T D Walford 3 25/1
Tracked leader, lost place 4th, soon beaten opened 20/1 touched 25/1
7th 11 Rasam Aldaar 11-0 A Merriam N B King 3 66/1
Mid-division, pushed along approaching 4 out, soon weakened opened 50/1 touched 66/1
8th Captain Sharpe 11-0 Mr R J Williams B J Llewellyn 3 66/1
Held up in rear, hard driven 4 out, soon weakened opened 50/1 touched 66/1
PU Brilliant Barca 11-0 M Goldstein Miss S West 3 33/1
Held up in rear, under pressure approaching 4 out, soon beaten, behind when pulled up before last opened 25/1 touched 33/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £3.40 Tote Place: £1.60,1.30,1.60
Straight Forecast: £5.30 Exacta: £5.90 Trifecta: £11.60 Swingers: 1&2:1.80 2&3:2.40 1&3:2.10

Jackpot: £559.50, Pool: £18360.38, 44.68 winning tickets
Placepot: £16.90, Pool: £141014.9, 6059.65 winning tickets
Quadpot: £10.90, Pool: £11560.07, 783.62 winning tickets

Verdict

Alan King's pair Walkon and Franchoek both landed this prize before going on to finish second in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival where the conditions are usually hugely contrasting. The ground was once again fairly testing for this fixture but that wasn't expected to be a problem for HOLLOW TREE who fairly relished this stiffer test. A decent stayer on the Flat, he dug deep into his stamina reserves when strongly challenged by Countrywide Flame and readily saw his rival off towards the end of the long home straight. The winner had been put in his place by Hinterland at Cheltenham (when unsuited by the slow pace) which puts this form into perspective given the subsequent eclipse of Paul Nicholls' runner but this was still a decent performance from a progressive performer. Whether, he has the speed to be successful in the Triumph on quicker ground in the spring is doubtful but he deserves to take his chance. Countrywide Flame's cause wasn't helped by racing too keenly and he had no more to offer approaching the last. He did, however, finish well clear of the field and improved on the form that he has shown to date. It was understandable that connections weren't keen to get into a battle with the winner for the lead here but a return to front-running tactics may help him to settle better next time and he can be found another opportunity to add to the three victories he's already achieved. Secret Edge represented a yard with a good record in this race and, although he hadn't given the impression that he was out of the top drawer, it was disappointing that he didn't give the first two more to think about with this test expected to suit. He had finished seven lengths adrift of the winner at Cheltenham before winning over an extended two miles two at Fontwell and, in hindsight, his connections may regret not making more use of him. Kapga De Cerisy had not been disgraced in graded races at Auteuil and shaped with some promise on debut for new connections. His table introduced a useful French import in this race last season and it will be interesting to see if he can build on this start from which it's reasonable to expect him to improve.