• Racing/
  • Halo Shines in Long Distance Hurdle

bet365 Long Distance Hurdle (Grade 2) 3m 110y

  • (4yo+, 3m 110y, Class 1, 5 runners)
  • Winner £22,780 2nd £8,548 3rd £4,280 4th £2,132 5th £1,072 6th £536
  • Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 5m 51.82s
  • Off time: 14:25:23
  • Last Updated: November 30 2013, 21:58 GMT

Celestial Halo made every post a winning one when running out the wide-margin winner of the bet365 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

Celestial Halo: Landed the Long Distance Hurdle
Celestial Halo: Landed the Long Distance Hurdle

The nine-year-old rolled back the years with another fine effort over three miles and took advantage of a blunder by At Fishers Cross at the second last to record a 17 length victory.

The 10/11 favourite was poised to make his challenge as the field approached the second-last but the six-year-old almost jumped the flight sideways and sprawled on landing, prompting an amazing recovery from his jockey Barry Geraghty.

With his chance all but gone, it left the nine-year-old with the simple task of jumping the last in front, a long way clear of Medinas who battled well to take the runner-up spot with Reve de Sivola back in third.

Daryl Jacob, who rode the 7/2 winner, said: Jacob "I love this horse. There's no better pleasure than to win on this horse. I'd gone an even gallop, but I didn't think I'd gone a crazy gallop.

"This horse is very, very genuine. He loves galloping, he loves jumping. He's an absolute hero - he just loves it."

Trainer Paul Nicholls was also delighted with his charge.

"He's been an amazing horse, beaten a short head in a Champion Hurdle, and I thought his price was insulting given how well he run in France.

"He had a gallop the other day with Rocky Creek and I couldn't believe how enthusiastic he was.

"He'll now go for the Long Walk at Ascot and I'm sure he'll end up in the World Hurdle with Big Buck's."

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At Fishers Cross' trainer Rebecca Curtis said: "It's very disappointing, but it's not like he has run a bad race - it was a silly mistake that cost him. He'll go to Ascot next month."

Sky Bet make Celestial Halo a 14/1 shot for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival behind stablemate Big Buck's, who is the 11/4 favourite.

"Although Celestial Halo is proving to be an able deputy to Big Buck's, it's difficult to see him beating his stablemate if he returns in the same sort of form which saw him land four runnings of the World Hurdle," said Sky Bet spokesman Michael Shinners.

Shinners added: "We have decided to push At Fishers Cross out to 11/2 [from 7/2] as he has been left with plenty to prove following this first run in open company with his hurdling far from fluent. He still has time on his side, however, and connections will be hoping that he can set the record straight next time."


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