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Doncaster

  • 12:55 Racing Post Lightning Novices' Chase 2m 110y

  • (Grade 2) £30,500 added 5yo+ 5 ran
  • Winner £17,370 2nd £6,518 3rd £3,264 4th £1,626
  • Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 8.40s
  • Off time: 12:55:27

Full result

12:55 Doncaster Result 25th January 2014
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Valdez 11-4 R Thornton A King 7 15/8f
In rear, mistake 1st, went 2nd before 4 out, ridden before 3 out, led run-in, driven out opened 15/8 touched 2/1
2nd Arnaud (IRE) 11-4 D F O'Regan C Byrnes 6 14/1
Led, clear before 2 out, ridden before last, headed run-in, kept on opened 9/1 touched 14/1
3rd 1 Fox Appeal (IRE) 11-7 L Aspell Miss E C Lavelle 7 2/1
Tracked leader, blundered 1st, blundered 5 out, lost 2nd place before 4 out, mistake next, kept on from last opened 5/2 touched 5/2
4th 10 God's Own (IRE) 11-0 P J Brennan T R George 6 17/2
Mistakes, tracked leaders in 3rd, jumped right and weakened from 3 out opened 11/1 touched 12/1
5th 1 Caid Du Berlais (FR) 11-4 Nick Scholfield P F Nicholls 5 10/3
Tracked leaders, lost place and in rear from 3rd, ridden before 4 out, soon weakened opened 3/1 touched 10/3
NR Rock On Ruby (IRE) 11-4 N Fehily H Fry 9

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £2.60 Tote Place: £1.30,2.60
Straight Forecast: £20.43 Exacta: £11.90 Trifecta: £35.60

Placepot: £85.20, Pool: £158176.44, 1354.46 winning tickets
Quadpot: £12.60, Pool: £13489.76, 787.65 winning tickets

Verdict

Arnaud posted a beautiful round of fencing until making minor mistakes at the last two fences as he began to tire on ground that may have been a shade more testing than ideal. His last victory over fences came on good to firm when lowering the colours of Steps To Freedom while he had comfortably accounted for Rebel Fitz prior to that. He finished a good fifth in the Fred Winter in 2012 so acts well enough at Cheltenham but he's probably high enough in the handicap and short of the level required for the Arkle. His style of racing and ability to act on quicker ground suggests that Aintree should suit and he could be interesting in the Grade One Maghull Novices' Chase at that meeting if connections opt to bypass Cheltenham. He was reeled in after the last by VALDEZ who was one of the first runners to have emerged from Alan King's yard since the trainer closed the doors on New Year's Day. He didn't jump as fluently as the winner but never looked like falling as he took his record over the larger obstacles to three from three. He's always been held in high regard and is starting to realise that potential and connections will have to weigh up whether to go down the handicap route or head to the Arkle but with a rating of 152 (going into this race) the handicapper may have already forced their hand besides which the smaller field of the Grade One may well suit on this evidence. Prices of 10/1 don't make any appeal but they do reflect that no horse has put a stamp on the division and he certainly couldn't be ruled out. Emma Lavelle has ruled Fox Appeal out of the race, preferring to wait for Aintree and a step up to two and a half miles. He made a sloppy mistake at the first and one or two more minor errors thereafter but recovered to stay on well without ever looking likely to win the race. There is still room for improvement in his fencing but he has already shown a good level of form and must be respected in Liverpool. God's Own was having just his second start over fences having been beaten in a handicap last time and ran respectably in the circumstances and shouldn't be long in putting his head in front with a step up in trip sure to suit. Caid Du Berlais never threatened to get involved and this wasn't his form.