Nicol Hughes Novices' Hurdle 3m
- (5yo+, 3m, Class 3, 9 runners)
- Winner £5,393 2nd £1,584 3rd £792 4th £396
- Going: Heavy, Soft in places
- Surface: Turf
- Winning time: 6m 26.20s
- Off time: 14:35:25
|1st||4 O'faolains Boy||2/1f|
|3rd||6 Perfect Candidate||1¼||40/1|
|7||162 11-8||P J Hobbs||R Johnson||6/1|
Dungeel (IRE) 38
|7||162 11-8||D McCain Jnr||J M Maguire||130||9/2|
Midnight Appeal 14
|8||158 11-4 b||A King||W Hutchinson||134||9/4|
O'faolains Boy (IRE) 34
|6||158 11-4||Miss R Curtis||P E Corbett (7)||2/1f|
Glenwood Present (IRE) 52
|6||152 10-12 t||R H Buckler||A Glassonbury||80/1|
Perfect Candidate (IRE) 31
|6||152 10-12||F O'Brien||P J Brennan||40/1|
Susquehanna River (IRE) 30
|6||152 10-12||N A Twiston-Davies||Sam Twiston-Davies||66/1|
My Flora 71
|9||145 10-5||D McCain Jnr||A P Lane||10/1|
Turn The Tide 31
|5||145 10-5||D L Williams||Gerard Tumelty||250/1|
My Flora was a useful hunter chaser but proved no match for Scolastica on her hurdling debut at Uttoxeter and, though the much longer trip here will help, Jason Maguire prefers stablemate Dungeel who has won both starts over timber. Midnight Appeal will be a threat to all as he's been in good form, winning at Hereford in December before finishing third in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham and going close over an inadequate trip in a jumpers' bumper at Kempton. Ballytober has more to do than when winning a maiden hurdle at Ascot however. O'FAOLAINS BOY also needs to improve a little to land this but Rebecca Curtis has some decent staying prospects in her yard and rates this one quite highly. He impressed over 2m4f at Chepstow and the extra half-mile should be right up his street so he gets the vote.
O'faolains Boy (IRE) 7-2 (11-0) Led until after 3rd, led next, clear 2 out, ridden out, won at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) hvy in Jan beating Oscar Magic (11-0) by 3l, 13 ran.
Ballytober 11-2 (11-0) Chased leaders, joined leader 3 out, led approaching last, swerved badly left 50 yards out, kept on, won at Ascot 2m 6f NH mdn hdl (3) hvy in Dec beating Westaway (10-11) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
Perfect Candidate (IRE) 3-1fav (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway over 4f out, ridden over 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 10, 12l behind Anteros (11-5) at Chepstow 2m NH flat (6) hvy in Jan.
Midnight Appeal 9-2 (11-4) Tracked leaders, led over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, rallied and just held towards finish, 2nd of 11, hd behind City Press (11-4) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan.
My Flora 4-5fav (10-12) Led, jumped right, not fluent 3rd, headed 3 out, soon beaten, not fluent 2 out, 2nd of 6, 20l behind Scholastica (10-12) at Uttoxeter 2m mrs nov hdl (4) hvy in Nov.
Susquehanna River (IRE) 50-1 (11-6) In touch, headway to chase leaders 4 out, ridden before 3 out, weakened soon after, 5th of 15, 30l behind King Helissio (11-6) at Ludlow 2m 5f mdn hdl (5) sft in Jan.
Dungeel (IRE) 2-1 (11-5) Prominent, led 7th, hung left flat, stayed on well, won at Catterick 3m 1f nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan beating Mr Puck (10-12) by 4l, 6 ran.
Turn The Tide 100-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, hampered 4th, some headway after 3 out, never any hope, 7th of 11, 29l behind Whispering Gallery (11-5) at Leicester 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Glenwood Present (IRE) 100-1 (11-1) Behind, not fluent 1st, unseated rider next, in a race won by Godsmejudge (11-1) at Folkestone 3m 1f beg chs (4) gd in Dec, 11 ran.