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Cheltenham

  • 15:00 Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle 2m 4f 110y

  • (Registered As The Classic Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 2) £30,000 added 4yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner £17,085 2nd £6,411 3rd £3,210 4th £1,599
  • Going: Heavy, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 22.80s
  • Off time: 15:00:48

Full result

15:00 Cheltenham Result 25th January 2014
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Red Sherlock 11-9 T Scudamore D Pipe 5 9/4
Tracked leaders, headway after 3 out, led after next, ridden before last, stayed on well under pressure flat opened 9/4 touched 9/4 £1500-£600 £1350-£600(x2) £500-£400 £900-£400
2nd Rathvinden (IRE) 11-12 B J Geraghty W P Mullins 6 6/4f
Held up behind in touch, smooth headway on outside after 3 out, swithched inside and every chance approaching last, soon ridden, kept on, held final 110 yards opened 13/8 touched 7/4 £2800-£1600(x2) £700-£400 £4875-£3000 £1300-£800 £813-£500
3rd 29 Aubusson (FR) 11-12 Miss E Kelly Nick Williams 5 7/1
Tracked leaders, led after 3 out, headed after next, soon ridden, no chance with front pair in clear 3rd between last 2 opened 7/1 touched 15/2
4th 42 Regal Diamond (IRE) 11-5 J E Moore P Bowen 6 16/1
Prominent on inside, ridden and weakened 2 out, tailed off opened 12/1 touched 16/1
5th 26 Creepy (IRE) 11-12 Ian Popham M Keighley 6 14/1
Led or disputed lead on outside until ridden and lost place after 3 out, weakened next, tailed off opened 14/1 touched 16/1
PU Madness Light (FR) 11-12 A P McCoy W Greatrex 5 7/1
Led or disputed lead until lost place after 3 out, soon weakened, pulled up before next opened 13/2 touched 7/1
NR Owen Na View (IRE) 11-5 Conor Shoemark F M O'Brien 6

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £2.80 Tote Place: £1.90,1.60
Straight Forecast: £5.77 Exacta: £5.70 Trifecta: £21.90 Swingers: 1&2:1.20 2&3:1.90 1&3:3.10

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 strong race on paper and the 'right' horses dominated the finish with RED SHERLOCK withstanding everything that Rathvinden could throw at home. Unbeaten in six career starts, this was his first real test over hurdles after converting a couple of penalty kicks at Southwell and Wetherby and he answered every question to keep his Cheltenham Festival dreams alive. The runner-up travelled strongly (as he had been when falling in another race in this series at Warwick won by Deputy Dan) and looked as though he was going to go past the eventual winner at will but he was never able to get there. Red Sherlock will head for the race of this name at the Cheltenham Festival and goes there with live claims and the second is entitled to re-oppose and both have plenty of potential. They pulled a long way clear of Aubusson who had won a competitive race in this series on New Year's Day. He didn't appear to have any obvious excuses although the ground was more testing than it had been earlier in the month and perhaps that found him out; he remains a nice long term prospect. He finished 40 lengths further in front of Regal Diamond than at the last meeting and that is possibly an indication of how bad the ground was as Regal Diamond had coped well enough with heavy ground at Chepstow earlier in the season, albeit in a maiden hurdle. He's had his limitations exposed in good company but could be of interest once switched to handicaps on better ground in the spring. Creepy had reportedly scoped badly after flopping at Warwick but failed to run up to his best on ground that is too testing for him; he's another that could make his presence felt when conditions dry out in the spring, albeit at a lower level than this. Madness Light was a good winner of a heavy ground Uttoxeter handicap last time but struggled on this step up in class.