Sire Collonges got his season back on track with victory in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.
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Paul Nicholls may have been somewhat coy about his chances of regaining the Trainers Championship but his string are in decent form at present and the grey added another £21896 to his total with victory in the 3m7f contest.
Having been up with the pace early on, hopes would not have been high about Sire Collonges as he became outpaced with eight to jump but Ryan Mahon refused to panic and having managed to get him back in touch with the leaders, Mahon secured a good leap out of his mount at the last and the pair held off the late rally of Any Currency.
Nicholls said of the winner: "He's slow and round this track he gets outpaced before staying on but Ryan's given him a peach and that was good. He's definitely one that could go to the Grand National and before then he'll be back here for the Cross Country Chase in March."
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Michael Shinners of Sky Bet said: "We've cut the winner to 8/1 for the Cross Country at the Festival and introduced him at 33/1 for the Grand National. He certainly stays well enough which is a pre-requisite for those sort of races."
Pasquini Rouge finished in third under David Cottin having raced prominently, while Keep On Track lost his pitch with a slow jump at the fifth from home and Enda Bolger's six-year-old could never get on terms from that point onward.