Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 1f
- (5yo+, 2m 1f, Class 1, 28 runners)
- Winner £45,560 2nd £17,096 3rd £8,560 4th £4,264 5th £2,144 6th £1,072
- Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
- Surface: Turf
- Winning time: 3m 58.50s
- Off time: 14:08:47
|1st||11 Lac Fontana||11/1|
|2nd||7 Arctic Fire||½||7/1|
Diakali (FR) 103
|5||166 11-12 h||W P Mullins||D E Mullins||154||25/1|
Flaxen Flare (IRE) 48
|5||161 11-7 b||G Elliott||D J Condon||149||20/1|
Cinders And Ashes 367
|7||161 11-7||D McCain Jnr||N Fehily||149||28/1|
Runswick Royal (IRE) 29
|5||155 11-1||Mrs A Hamilton||B Hughes||143||33/1|
Upazo (FR) 62
|6||154 11-0||W P Mullins||P Townend||142||33/1|
Never Enough Time (IRE) 33
|6||153 10-13||T Foley||G N Fox (7)||141||9/1|
Arctic Fire (GER) 77
|5||153 10-13 h||W P Mullins||D J Casey||141||7/1|
Montbazon (FR) 34
|7||152 10-12||A King||R Thornton||140||20/1|
|6||151 10-11 b1||N J Henderson||B J Geraghty||139||20/1|
Minella Foru (IRE) 19
|5||151 10-11||E P Harty||A P McCoy||139||12/1|
Lac Fontana (FR) 48
|5||151 10-11||P F Nicholls||D A Jacob||139||11/1|
Deep Trouble (IRE) 34
|7||150 10-10 h||B I Case||L Aspell||138||33/1|
Rainbow Peak (IRE) 29
|8||150 10-10||J P Ferguson||D F O'Regan||138||25/1|
Thomas Edison (IRE) 117
|7||150 10-10 ht||A J Martin||M P Walsh||138||20/1|
Cash And Go (IRE) 117
|7||150 10-10||N J Henderson||Peter Carberry (3)||138||25/1|
Strongpoint (IRE) 72
|10||149 10-9 h||S R B Crawford||P Buchanan||137||33/1|
Dunraven Storm (IRE) 112
|9||149 10-9||P J Hobbs||T J O'Brien||137||33/1|
Cheltenian (FR) 34
|8||149 10-9||P J Hobbs||R Johnson||137||5/1f|
|7||148 10-8||N J Henderson||D Bass||136||33/1|
Master Of The Game (IRE) 48
|8||148 10-8 ht||N J Henderson||A Tinkler||136||33/1|
Barizan (IRE) 237
|8||148 10-8 bt||D McCain Jnr||S Twiston-Davies||136||50/1|
Jumps Road (ex5) 13
|7||148 10-8 p1||C L Tizzard||Brendan Powell||131||66/1|
Morning Royalty (IRE) 55
|7||147 10-7||James Moffatt||P J Brennan||135||66/1|
|9||147 10-7||M Hill||Hadden Frost||135||33/1|
|8||145 10-5||Miss V Williams||Aidan Coleman||133||66/1|
Lough Kent 27
|5||145 10-5||N J Henderson||Nico de Boinville (5)||133||50/1|
Anay Turge (FR) 39
|9||145 10-5 pt||N J Hawke||T Scudamore||133||33/1|
Alaivan (IRE) 34
|8||144 10-4 p1||Jonjo O'Neill||Maurice Linehan (5)||132||10/1|
Ted Veale (IRE)
||6||10-6||A J Martin||B J Cooper||10/1|
Irish trainers have been responsible for six of the last seven winners of this ultra-competitive handicap and more than a quarter of this year's 28-strong field have travelled across the Irish Sea. Willie Mullins, who has produced Thousand Stars and Final Approach to win in the last four years, saddles three with the market and jockey bookings suggesting the lightly-raced ARCTIC FIRE is his best hope and he gets a tentative vote. His last two runs have been in Grade 1 company and he wasn't disgraced. Gordon Elliott's Flaxen Flare always seems to run well in these big handicaps and was an impressive winner of the Fred Winter 12 months ago while Edward Harty's Minella Foru and Thomas Foley's Never Enough Time arrive in form and will be prominent in the betting. Lac Fontana could prove the best of the home team as five-year-olds generally do well in this and, after a couple of near-misses last season, he's won twice over this course and distance this campaign. Lyvius could also figure if sharpened up by a pair of blinkers while Philip Hobbs has been bullish about the chances of betfair hurdle fourth Cheltenian, who is a former Champion Bumper winner and ran in last year's Supreme Novices'. Alaivan was sixth in the betfair while Strongpoint and Jumps Road both arrive off the back of recent wins, though the latter was undoubtedly lucky at Newbury and has a penalty to carry.
Lac Fontana (FR) 4-1fav (10-12) Held up behind in touch, smooth headway before 2 out, challenged last, led flat, ridden clear final 110 yards, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Jan beating Totalize (11-0) by 5l, 10 ran.
Arctic Fire (GER) 5-1 (11-7) Soon raced in moderate 4th, took keen hold and improved to be close up 4th, on terms from 4 out, 3rd approaching straight, no extra from before last, 4th of 7, 17l behind The Tullow Tank (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) sft in Dec.
Montbazon (FR) 20-1 (11-2) Mid-division, pushed along and weakened before 2 out, tailed off, 16th of 20, 46l behind Splash of Ginge (10-3) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) hvy in Feb.
Diakali (FR) 6-1 (11-6) Led, slight mistake 2nd and clear next, extended lead 5th, jumped left 6th, reduced advantage 3 out, joined next and headed approaching last, no impression in 3rd run-in, 3rd of 5, 2 1/4l behind Jezki (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) in Dec.
Flaxen Flare (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, travelled well to dispute before last, ridden last, headed run-in and kept on same pace in 2nd, 2nd of 24, 1 1/4l behind Gilgamboa (10-9) at Leopardstown 2m Handicap Hurdle (0-150) (Grade B) (4yo+) sft in Jan.
Minella Foru (IRE) 12-1 (11-6) Held up towards rear, improved into 4th before last and no impression, kept on between horses to go 3rd close home, 3rd of 6, 4l behind Real Steel (11-4) at Naas 2m nov hdl G2 (1) in Feb.
Deep Trouble (IRE) 25-1 (11-2) Held up towards rear, some headway on inside before 2 out, soon beaten, 13th of 20, 31l behind Splash of Ginge (10-3) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) hvy in Feb.
Lyvius 13-2 (11-2) In rear, not fluent 1st, struggling 6th, headway 3 out, never able to get on terms, stayed on same pace flat, 4th of 10, 11l behind Clever Cookie (10-0) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl (2) sft in Feb.
Alaivan (IRE) 10-1 (10-1) Held up in mid-division, ridden and outpaced before 2 out, rallied approaching last, stayed on under pressure flat, never going pace to reach leaders, 6th of 20, 6l behind Splash of Ginge (10-3) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) hvy in Feb.
Barizan (IRE) 8-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders, pushed along 5th, ridden after 3 out, soon weakened, 11th of 14, well behind Sea Lord (11-1) at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Jul.
Cash And Go (IRE) 6-1fav (11-4) Mid-divison, headway 4th, ridden when not fluent 3 out, soon beaten, well beaten when not fluent next, 16th of 18, 32l behind Dell' Arca (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Nov.
Rainbow Peak (IRE) 4-11fav (11-10) In touch, led 4 out, soon headed, remained close up, challenged 2 out, upsides leader when left in lead last, just held on, 2nd of 12, ns behind Landecker (11-3) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Thomas Edison (IRE) 10-1 (11-1) Held up towards rear, badly hampered and unseated rider 4th, in a race won by Dell' Arca (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Nov, 18 ran.
Dunraven Storm (IRE) 3-1fav (11-7) Made all, hit 4th and next, driven when pressed 2 out, ridden and stayed on well flat, won at Ascot 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gs in Nov beating Specialagent Alfie (11-1) by 1 1/2l, 9 ran.
Morning Royalty (IRE) 50-1 (11-4) In rear, soon towards rear, headway 4 out to chase leaders, pushed along before 2 out, soon outpaced, kept on from last, just held for 3rd close home, 4th of 6, 16l behind Melodic Rendezvous (11-8) at Haydock 2m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Jumps Road 13-2 (11-11) Tracked leaders, ridden and one pace when edged left before 2 out, left in close 3rd 2 out, ridden and went 2nd before last, upsides last, led as leader stumbled on landing last, driven and idled run in, held on, won at Newbury 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) hvy beating Kuda Huraa (11-3) by nk, 6 ran.
Makari 8-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, ridden and headway before 2 out, not fluent last, kept on to lead towards finish, won at Doncaster 2m hcp hdl (2) gd in Dec beating Purple Bay (10-11) by 1l, 10 ran.
Anay Turge (FR) Evensfav (11-10) Tracked leader, challenged 3 out, led 2 out, clear before last, kept on, won at Southwell 2m nov hdl (4) hvy in Feb beating Vivaccio (11-10) by 2 1/4l, 7 ran.
Strongpoint (IRE) 9-1 (11-2) Led to 3rd, led again before 2 out, kept on well, won at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl (2) sft in Jan beating Ifandbutwhynot (11-11) by 4l, 14 ran.
Lough Kent 15-2 (11-5) Hampered 1st, always in rear, behind 7th, pulled up after, in a race won by Kaylif Aramis (10-7) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) sft in Feb, 15 ran.
Tzora 12-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, good headway on outside 2f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, closed on winner all the way to the line, just failed, 2nd of 13, ns behind Tanks For That (11-0) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Feb.
Upazo (FR) 3-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, raced wide on back straight, pushed along and plugged on to modest 3rd and not fluent 2 out, no chance with leading duo, 3rd of 6, 12l behind Royal Boy (11-7) at Kempton 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) sft in Jan.
Citizenship 12-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders, lost place 3 out, ridden and outpaced after next, weakened before last, 9th of 10, 43l behind Lac Fontana (10-12) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Jan.
Never Enough Time (IRE) 7-2fav (10-11) Settled in mid-division, 6th halfway, smooth progress to go 2nd at last, led run-in and drew clear final 50 yards, comfortably, won at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-140 in Feb beating Blacklough (11-0) by 4l, 15 ran.
Master Of The Game (IRE) 16-1 (11-3) Made all, clear before 3 out, edged left before 2 out, ridden before last, kept on well, won at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs in Jan beating Mcllhatton (11-4) by 15l, 12 ran.
Cinders And Ashes 16-1 (11-10) Raced in 6th, pushed along after 3rd, never going well after, losing touch when bad mistake 5th, tailed off when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Hurricane Fly (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Mar '13, 9 ran.
Runswick Royal (IRE) 9-2 (11-3) Mid-division, headway before 2 out, led before last, ridden run-in, just held on, won at Kelso 2m 2f hdl (2) gs in Feb beating Upsilon Bleu (11-3) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
Cheltenian (FR) 8-1 (10-10) Held up in mid-division, headway on inside approaching 2 out, chased leaders approaching last, driven and stayed on same pace in 4th flat, 4th of 20, 4l behind Splash of Ginge (10-3) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) hvy in Feb.