• Racing/
  • Royal Strikes For King Mccoy

williamhill.com Levy Board Tolworth Hurdle (Grade 1 Novices' Hurdle) 2m

  • (4yo+, 2m, Class 1, 6 runners)
  • Winner £18,224 2nd £6,838 3rd £3,424 4th £1,706 5th £858 6th £429
  • Going: Soft, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 58.54s
  • Off time: 13:38:21
  • Last Updated: January 11 2014, 16:39 GMT

Royal Boy is 16/1 for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' after winning the williamhill.com Levy Board Tolworth Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday.

Royal Boy (left) and Josses Hill do battle in the Tolworth
Royal Boy (left) and Josses Hill do battle in the Tolworth

The Nicky Henderson-trained horse fought out a thrilling finish with stablemate Josses Hill after the pair jumped the last flight in unison, and it was owner Michael Buckley's horse who prevailed thanks in part to a power-packed finish from AP McCoy.

With only 50 yards to go it was impossible to call the winner, but half a length separated the Seven Barrows duo at the line.

Both were held up just off the pace set by The Liquidator in the early stages of the race and they both moved up stylishly once David Pipe's horse started to wilt under pressure down the back straight.

After turning for home it quickly became a duel between the Henderson-trained pair, with Willie Mullins' Upazo and Philip Hobbs' Garde La Victoire failing to fire.

Henderson said: "We all thought that looked a good Tolworth and you'd have to say I was impressed with both of them when they drew clear like that.

"I thought about running Royal Boy at Warwick in the two and a half (mile race) but I thought that would be an awful slog and he's not a slow horse.

"I think you'd go two and a half at Cheltenham with him whereas Josses Hill is more of a two-miler."

Willie Mullins said of third-placed Upazo: "I think that's probably as good as he is. I was running over a trip all last year and I think we'll go back up in trip next time with now."

Sky Bet introduced the winner into the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle betting at 16/1, while Josses Hill was cut to that price from 33s.

Royal Boy is also 16/1 for the Neptune Novices' Hurdle.

Sky Bet spokesman Michael Shinners said: "It's still all to play for in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle with nothing grabbing the market by the scruff of the neck.

"Royal Boy looks likely to want further, but Josses Hill travelled into the race well and could well be a contender."

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