• Racing/
  • Third Time Lucky For Olofi

Racing Post Hurdle (Grade 3 Handicap) 2m 110y

  • (4yo+, 2m 110y, Class 1, 18 runners)
  • Winner £56,950 2nd £21,370 3rd £10,700 4th £5,330 5th £2,680 6th £1,340
  • Going: Soft
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 12.30s
  • Off time: 14:50:33
  • Last Updated: November 18 2012, 19:00 GMT

Olofi (8-1) landed the valuable Racing Post Hurdle at Cheltenham at the third attempt for Tom George and Paddy Brennan.

Olofi: Struck for Tom George and Paddy Brennan
Olofi: Struck for Tom George and Paddy Brennan

The grey had finished fifth in 2010 and second 12 months ago behind Brampour and went one better despite finding himself short of room approaching the second last.

He moved alongside the front-running Bothy - who had finished second in the 2010 renewal - before the final flight where he jumped into the lead.

Cash And Go, making his debut for Nicky Henderson, appeared to be travelling strongly in behind but he couldn't reel in his more experienced six year old rival who ran on strongly all the way to the line.

Cash And Go finished a clear second - beaten two and a half lengths - with Cause And Causes third and Bothy fourth while a gamble on Domination - who was sent off the 9-2 favourite - never looked like landing with Charles Byrnes' runner losing his pitch coming down the hill.

George said: "He had no luck last year, but it's all come right for him today. He's a very, very talented horse and could still be improving."

Brennan said: "He's got me so many rollickings this horse, giving him too much to do, but by doing that, that's how we've had the finished article today.

"It was just a case of trying to keep him under control and out of the race. The brilliance was always there. It was just getting him to use it.

"I thought I might be on the floor at one stage, but I was lucky enough to have a horse who was willing and tough enough to get me out of the situation.

"It was a great race to win. It means an awful lot winning prizes like this. You don't get much higher than today - it's a very special race to win. He'll have to improve to make it to the very top, but you never know."

George added: "He was only beaten four lengths by Zarkandar last year (Betfair Hurdle, Newbury) and everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.

"It's credit to my staff for getting him back to win a race like this. Last year you could have run him in the Champion Hurdle and he'd go with anything until the second-last.

"It's a long shout to go for the Champion, but he's obviously improving and you'd hope he'd go on again."

Successful owner Max McNeill said: "After Walkon (Paddy Power Gold Cup runner-up) on Saturday, it's been a great weekend.

"I thought Walkon ran a mighty race against a very good horse.

"This horse was backed for Newbury and then for the County Hurdle, but he's had a lot of bad luck. All credit goes to Tom."

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