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  • King Puts Rivals To Sword

Caspian Caviar Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase (Jockey Club Grassroots Jumps Series Qualifier) 2m 5f

  • (4yo+, 2m 5f, Class 3, 16 runners)
  • Winner £7,507 2nd £2,218 3rd £1,109 4th £554 5th £277 6th £139
  • Going: Good (Cross Country: Good, Good to Firm in places)
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 5m 20.40s
  • Off time: 13:05:15
  • Last Updated: December 13 2013, 16:58 GMT

King Massini handed Evan Williams a massive filip ahead of the StanJames.com International Hurdle with a victory at Cheltenham in the Captain Caviar Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase.

Evan Williams: Cheltenham victory with King Massini
Evan Williams: Cheltenham victory with King Massini

Ryan Hatch attempted to stretch the field aboard morning gamble Have You Seen Me with an aggressive ride but the petrol began to empty rapidly on the turn in as Nigel Twiston-Davies' veteran paid the penalty for his labours and King Massini took over after the second last.

The seven-year-old has looked an improved performer this season and his backers would have been forgiven for counting their money at that point but Hit The Headlines came through with a breathtaking run under Keith Donoghue to wrest the spoils but the Welsh raider found a little bit more as they dived for the line.

Winning rider, Adam Wedge said of his partner: "I wasn't sure come the line, I thought halfway up the run-in we were beat but he's stuck in and done it nicely."

Williams said: "The owners always want to run him at Ludlow but he had to come here as he's due to go up 6lb tomorrow.

  • Wonderful Charm jumps alongside Oscar Whisky in the Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Novices' Chase
  • The field are tightly grouped in the Caspian Caviar Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Chase
  • King Massini leads from Al Alfa
  • King Massini has a clear advantage but had to work hard for victory
  • The Skyfarmer and Lyvius go toe-to-toe
  • Zara Phillips looks pensive before Monbeg Dude's run
  • So too does co-owner Mike Tindall
  • Theatre Guide travelled strongly
  • But couldn't repel the Dude on the run-in
  • The winner now has the Grand National in his sights
  • Winning trainer Michael Scudamore is all smiles
  • Sire Collonges leads the field in the cross-country
  • Shalimar Fromentro, Imperial Circus and Sire Collonges jump the fence spectacularly
  • Sunnyhillboy rolls back the years in the three mile handicap hurdle
  • The bookmakers' boards shine brightly in the gloaming
  • Ballyalton sends some punters home happy in the finale
All of the best images from the opening day of The International

"Adam's claim makes a big difference in these boys' races."

A predictably philospohical Gordon Elliott remarked of the runner-up: "It was the plan for a while to come here today and it nearly worked, he ran really well. Keith gave him a great ride and neither horse or jockey have done anything wrong."

The pair finished well clear of third-placed Max Bygraves.

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