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Kempton Park

  • 15:40 williamhill.com Dovecote Novices' Hurdle 2m

  • (Grade 2) £21,200 added 4yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner £12,073 2nd £4,530 3rd £2,268 4th £1,130
  • Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 58.50s
  • Off time: 15:40:20

Full result

15:40 Kempton Park Result 25th February 2012
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Grumeti 11-0 R Thornton A King 4 4/9f
Tracked leader, led soon after 3 out, in command next, pushed along from last, easily opened 8/15 touched 8/15
2nd Dodging Bullets 10-7 R Walsh P F Nicholls 4 9/2
Hit 1st, pulled hard, tracked leading pair until settled 4th after 4th, went 3rd well before 2 out, travelling well disputing 2nd when wandered right and left 2nd 2 out, wandered right again before last, driven and kept on flat, readily held opened 10/3 touched 9/2
3rd 21 Zarzal (IRE) 10-7 Paul Moloney Evan Williams 4 33/1
Held up last, went 4th well before 2 out, ridden and no chance with leading duo when left modest 3rd next opened 25/1 touched 33/1
4th 13 Crescent Beach (IRE) 11-2 A O'keeffe Jennie Candlish 5 40/1
Raced keenly, led, headed soon after 3 out, soon ridden and weakened rapidly, tailed off opened 33/1 touched 40/1
5th 25 Nazreef 11-2 Hadden Frost H Morrison 5 50/1
Raced wide in last pair, ridden and struggling before 3 out, tailed off opened 40/1 touched 66/1
F Terre Du Vent (FR) 10-9 P J Brennan T R George 6 11/2
Tracked leading trio, went 3rd after 4th, went 2nd well before 2 out, ridden and looked beaten when fell 2 out opened 17/2 touched 17/2
NR Keys (IRE) 11-2 B J Geraghty N J Henderson 5

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £1.60 Tote Place: £1.20,1.90
Straight Forecast: £2.79 Exacta: £3.10 Swingers: 1&2:1.10 2&3:9.40 1&3:4.10

Placepot: £7.40, Pool: £127034.27, 12525.69 winning tickets
Quadpot: £4.50, Pool: £6081.65, 999.27 winning tickets

Verdict

This was a straightforward warm-up for GRUMETI ahead of the Triumph Hurdle and he goes to the Cheltenham Festival with all guns blazing and rightly among the market leaders for the race. This was as much about giving Robert Thornton a feel of the horse on the track after his injury layoff and ensured his pilot had a pleasing spin round. Jumping fluently throughout, he went to the front at the third last having raced prominently and once left clear at the next, he scored pushed out with the minimum of fuss while still on the bridle. His trainer has a strong hand once again in the Triumph along with the unbeaten Balder Success but his jockey would not commit to either at this stage. There were some quite interesting perfrmances in behind. Crescent Beach made most of the running until three out and there are surelyy races to be won with him if he ever learns to settle. He tanked along up front taking a very good grip and those exertions saw him start to fade out of contention once under pressure approaching the home turn. He has a tendency to run around approaching his hurdles but jumps soundly, has an engine and there will be better to come if he starts to give his rider some help in the early stages of a race. Debutant Dodging Bullets put up a sound display despite showing inexperience up the home straight. He tended to veer about when Ruby Walsh asked him for an effort from the second last but stuck to his task nicely in pursuit of a battled-hardened opponent. He was ridden out to the line and should be all the sharper for his next run, where he is going to be tough to beat. Terre Du Vent was another eyecatcher despite taking a crashing fall at the second last. Tom George had been positive about her chances before the race and that confidence was well placed as she travelled with purpose and was right in the slipstream of the winner before departing. Paddy Brennan tried to angle her towards the inside of the flight behind Grumeti and the gap looked tight enough so perhaps she was slightly unsighted as she stepped at the obstacle. Lets hope this has not knocked her confidence as she has plenty of ability. Zarzal was another making his debut over timber and although unable to go with the front two up the straight, connections should be pleased with the effort and it is something to build on when his sights are lowered.