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Cheltenham

  • 14:25 Argento Chase 3m 1f 110y

  • (Registered As The Cotswold Chase) (Grade 2) £100,000 added 5yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner £56,950 2nd £21,370 3rd £10,700 4th £5,330
  • Going: Heavy, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 7m 10.00s
  • Off time: 14:25:23

Full result

14:25 Cheltenham Result 25th January 2014
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st The Giant Bolster 11-0 T Scudamore D G Bridgwater 9 6/1
With leader until not fluent 4th, tracked leaders, effort to challenge 2 out, led narrowly before last, ridden and stayed on well flat opened 13/2 touched 13/2
2nd 7 Rocky Creek (IRE) 11-5 D A Jacob P F Nicholls 8 6/4f
Tracked leaders, headway after 17th, challenged and every chance 2 out, kept on until ridden and no extra flat, just held on for 2nd opened 13/8 touched 13/8 £700-£400(x3) £813-£500(x2) £3000-£2000 £600-£400
3rd hd Harry Topper 11-10 J M Maguire K C Bailey 7 6/1
In touch on outside, effort and every chance 2 out until one pace approaching last, stayed on to take 3rd flat, just failed for 2nd opened 6/1 touched 7/1
4th Houblon Des Obeaux (FR) 11-6 Aidan Coleman Miss V Williams 7 7/2
Tracked leaders, headway to dispute lead from 4th, ridden and narrow advantage approaching 2 out, headed before last, no impression when lost 3rd flat opened 10/3 touched 7/2 £1667-£500 £1000-£300
5th 7 Restless Harry 11-6 C Poste R Dickin 10 14/1
With leaders on outside, ridden and lost place approaching 2 out, weakened last opened 12/1 touched 14/1
6th Champion Court (IRE) 11-6 Ian Popham M Keighley 9 9/1
Raced keenly, made most, headed narrowly approaching 2 out, weakened last opened 9/1 touched 9/1
7th 31 Pigeon Island 11-4 S Twiston-Davies N A Twiston-Davies 11 66/1
Held up behind, ridden and outpaced on long run before 2 out, soon weakened, tailed off opened 50/1 touched 66/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £6.50 Tote Place: £2.90,1.80
Straight Forecast: £14.71 Exacta: £16.30 Trifecta: £138.80 Swingers: 1&2:3.00 2&3:1.70 1&3:4.70

Jackpot: £28,895.72 carried forward to Leopardstown, 26th Jan
Placepot: £727.90, Pool: £261034.02, 261.77 winning tickets
Quadpot: £71.10, Pool: £16896.31, 175.73 winning tickets

Verdict

A Gold Cup trial in name only with live contenders thin on the ground although victory for THE GIANT BOLSTER is likely to ensure that he will head for a third crack at the blue riband contest although he will do well to improve on his previous second and fourth place finishes. He had struggled all season but a new combination of headgear and a return to a track (the New Course as opposed to the Old) where he has shown excellent form helped to bring about a return to form. He still showed a tendency to make the odd mistake but there was no faulting his attitude as he stayed on strongly when others had cried enough and looks capable of vying for minor honours in six weeks time. Rocky Creek could have put himself in line for a tilt at the Gold Cup with a good run but it wouldn't surprise if connections now opted to wait for the Grand National. His trainer subsequently opined that the eight year old needed the run after suffering from a minor bout of colic which is worth bearing in mind but it was slightly alarming how quickly he began to paddle on the hill. This was almost the most testing ground that he has encountered to date and he may just have found it too much; he had certainly done plenty right until the hill and remains a promising young stayer but it does remain to be seen whether he can prove effective in handicaps from his revised mark (after the Hennessy) or make the jump up into graded conditions races. Harry Topper appreciated the return to racing on a testing surface but he couldn't get away with the lack of fluency in his fencing against this quality of opposition. He, too, remains a decent staying prospect but he will need to put in some remedial work on his jumping if he's to fulfil all of his potential. Houblon Des Obeaux ran well for a long way but doesn't appear to be quite as effective at this track as he does at Ascot; this was a perfectly respectable run nonetheless albeit one that appears to have gone a long way to confirming his limitations. Restless Harry had bounced back to form at Newbury from a rating of just 122 and fared as well as could have been expected. Champion Court also went well for a long way on ground that wouldn't have been ideal but, not for the first time, his suspect stamina gave out but he did enough to suggest that he should again be competitive in the Ryanair Chase over what appears to be his optimum trip.