• Racing/
  • Holy Well On Top For Oneill

Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 110y

  • (5yo+, 3m 110y, Class 1, 23 runners)
  • Winner £51,255 2nd £19,233 3rd £9,630 4th £4,797 5th £2,412 6th £1,206
  • Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 6m 1.90s
  • Off time: 14:41:41
  • Last Updated: March 11 2014, 15:34 GMT

Holywell won the Bayliss & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase at Cheltenham for trainer Jonjo O'Neill and jockey Richie McLernon.

Holywell completed back-to-back wins at Cheltenham
Holywell completed back-to-back wins at Cheltenham

Winner of the Pertemps Final over the smaller obstacles at last year's Festival, the 10/1 chance was never far off the leaders in the extended three-mile contest and stayed on powerfully to shake off the strong-travelling Ma Filleule by a length and three-quarters.

The Package ran a fantastic race on his return to competitive action to finish seven lengths back in third, with Green Flag filling the places in fourth.

Standing Ovation and Tour Des Champs vied for early supremacy and were still at the head of affairs approaching the third last.

Ma Filleule took it up at the penultimate fence and took a length out of Holywell with a fine jump but Nicky Henderson's mare was outstayed after the last and had to settle for second best.

The winning jockey was thrilled, saying: "This lad has got a home for life with me if he needs it!

"He was dynamite. He jumped brilliantly and travelled - I took him some places and he got me out of them every time.

"He has a great trainer, the best in England and Ireland - he's brilliant and absolutely gifted.

"Today is what it's all about."

O'Neill was delighted to see his charge bounce back to form after a slightly disappointing run when winning narrowly at Doncaster, saying: "He's a great little horse to come back here and do that.

"Early on in the season he slipped into a fence at Carlisle and lost his confidence a little bit.

"It took him a while to get going and then we thought we had him going at Catterick.

"Then he was fairly average at Doncaster, I know he won but he was disappointing and I thought 'the fences are going to look very big on him at Cheltenham'.

"He's gutsy and Richie had him in the right place. He gave him a great spin and I only saw him miss one (fence).

"I'd say a big field and a good gallop suits him down to the ground.

"It's magic (to get a Cheltenham winner)."

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