Cheltenham & Three Counties Race Club Hurdle 2m 4f 110y

  • (4yo+, 2m 4f 110y, Class 2, 7 runners)
  • Winner £12,524 2nd £3,700 3rd £1,850 4th £926 5th £462 6th £232
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 5m 0.40s
  • Off time: 12:55:43

Full Result

12:55 Cheltenham
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 6 Oscar Whisky (IRE) N J Henderson 6 11-4 B J Geraghty 3/1
SP 3/1 Held up in 5th, not fluent 6th, headway after 3 out, went 3rd 2 out, led on bit when hit last, shaken up and readily drew clear final 100 yards opened 9/4 £900-£400
2nd 7 3 Any Given Day (IRE) D McCain Jnr 6 11-8 J M Maguire 7/2
SP 7/2 Held up in 6th, niggled along on outside from 6th, headway approaching 2 out, chased winner approaching last and soon close up, no impression and readily held final 100 yards, stayed on opened 9/2 £5000-£1000
3rd 6 4 Celestial Halo (IRE) P F Nicholls 7 11-8 bt Harry Skelton 9/2
SP 9/2 Took keen hold, tracked leader, challenged before 4th, led 7th, jumped right 2 out, ridden and headed approaching last, soon held, stayed on one pace £1800-£400
4th 2 Karabak (FR) A King 8 11-12 A P McCoy 2/1f
SP 2/1f Held up in 4th, closed 3 out and soon went 2nd, driven after 2 out, demoted to 4th and one pace when switched left approaching last, soon held opened 5/2 £1000-£400(x2) £2250-£1000 £1125-£500 £900-£400(x2)
5th 3 5 Duke Of Lucca (IRE) P J Hobbs 6 11-4 R Johnson 11/1
SP 11/1 Tracked leading pair until after 3 out, outpaced when mistake next, stayed on flat, no impression opened 12/1
6th 9 1 Barizan (IRE) Evan Williams 5 11-12 Paul Moloney 33/1
SP 33/1 Led, not fluent 6th, not fluent and headed next, lost place after 3 out, weakened next opened 25/1
7th 6 7 Secret Dancer (IRE) A E Jones 6 11-4 S Thomas 66/1
SP 66/1 Held up in rear, not always fluent, weakened approaching 2 out opened 40/1

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £3.90 Tote Place £2.00 £2.40 Straight Forecast £13.46 Exacta £11.40 Swingers 1&2 £2.20, 2&3 £6.00, 1&3 £1.70

Jackpot £24,519.12 carried forward to Plumpton, 2nd Jan
Placepot £156.20, Pool: £194585.1, 909.03 winning tickets
Quadpot £27.00, Pool: £16151.34, 442.5 winning tickets

Analysis

A startlingly emphatic performance from OSCAR WHISKY, adding another cannon to Nicky Henderson's already envious Champion Hurdle battalion. Held up off the pace in the early stages as he tried an extra half-mile for the first time, the six-year-old gelding crept into the race under Barry Geraghty. When Celestial Halo and Karabak tried to kick on three hurdles from home, taking over from long time leader Barizan, Geraghty was content to sit quiet on his mount and it was easy to see why. He cruised between rivals on the turn for home and was still on the bridle at the last flight. He jumped that swiftly and accurately and only had to receive one kick in the belly from his pilot to storm clear from Any Given Day up the run-in. The Welsh Champion Hurdle at owner Dai Walter's Ffos Las is the next port of call, and on this evidence he should take all the beating whoever he faces. The runner-up made several mistakes throughout, but Donald McCain's gelding helps set the form standard. He was readily brushed aside, but is a more reliable yardstick than Karabak. Alan King's gelding seems incapable of running two races the same and was disappointing here. Like Any Given Day he wasn't at all fluent at some of his obstacles, and he was pushed along running down the hill. To his credit he got himself into the race at that point but was readily left behind in the final two furlongs. Celestial Halo ran a promising race; although he is unlikely to ever hit the heights of his Champion Hurdle second again, he raced with enthusiasm here and only tired late on, perhaps due to his earlier exuberance.