John Smith's Mersey Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 4f

  • (4yo+, 2m 4f, Class 1, 9 runners)
  • Winner £31,356 2nd £11,764 3rd £5,890 4th £2,937 5th £1,474 6th £737
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 51.60s
  • Off time: 13:45:32

Full Result

13:45 Aintree
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 9 Spirit Son (FR) N J Henderson 5 11-4 B J Geraghty 3/1
SP 3/1 Tracked leader, led soon after 3 out, pushed clear flat, easily £10000-£3000 £3000-£900 £15000-£5000 £1200-£400
2nd 13 2 Cue Card C L Tizzard 5 11-4 J Tizzard 5/2f
SP 5/2f Held up towards rear, took keen hold, mistake 7th, headway approaching 3 out, chased winner when went left 2 out, soon ridden, no impression and stayed on same pace flat opened 11/4 £1500-£500(x2)
3rd 8 8 Rock On Ruby (IRE) P F Nicholls 6 11-4 t D A Jacob 9/2
SP 9/2 In touch in mid-division, mistake 3rd, closed 3 out, ridden 2 out, 3rd and beaten when hit last
4th ½ 3 Drill Sergeant D McCain Jnr 6 11-4 bt J M Maguire 40/1
SP 40/1 In touch in mid-division, pushed along after 8th, closed on inside before 3 out, one pace from next, 4th and beaten last
5th 4 10 Storm Brig A C Whillans 6 11-4 E Whillans 25/1
SP 25/1 Held up in rear on outside, not fluent 5th, mistake 7th, not fluent next, effort approaching 3 out, no impression 2 out opened 33/1 £14000-£500(x2)
6th hd 11 Sam Winner (FR) P F Nicholls 4 10-11 R Walsh 7/2
SP 7/2 Led until just after 3 out, 5th and beaten when mistake last, weakened flat opened 3/1 £1750-£500 £1500-£500
7th 32 1 Bold Sir Brian (IRE) Miss Lucinda V Russell 5 11-4 P Buchanan 12/1
SP 12/1 Held up in rear, not fluent 4th, outpaced by leaders when hampered 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off
8th 73 5 Maringo Bay (IRE) C J Mann 6 11-4 Peter Toole 28/1
SP 28/1 Held up in 4th, not fluent 4th, jumped slowly and lost place 8th, soon ridden and weakened, blundered 2 out, tailed off opened 25/1 touched 33/1
F 4 Drive Time (USA) J Howard Johnson 6 11-4 B Hughes 28/1
SP 28/1 Prominent, ridden and losing place when fell 3 out opened 33/1 touched 25/1
NR 6 Rebel Rebellion (IRE) P F Nicholls 6 11-4 Nick Scholfield
NR 7 Recession Proof (FR) J J Quinn 5 11-4 R Thornton

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £3.70 Tote Place £1.50 £1.60 £1.40 Straight Forecast £10.74 Exacta £9.00 Trifecta £24.60 Swingers 1&2 £2.90, 2&3 £3.30, 1&3 £2.90

Jackpot £51,249.30 carried forward to Wincanton, 8th Apr
Placepot £574.00, Pool: £451565.6, 574.29 winning tickets
Quadpot £258.10, Pool: £18700.68, 53.6 winning tickets

Analysis

An emphatic win for SPIRIT SON, and one that will get the juices flowing for next season. He looks the type to relish jumping a fence, so the Arkle would be an obvious long-term target, although trainer Nicky Henderson may decide to stick to hurdling with him, as he (on initial instincts over this season) looks to have the class to run in the Champion Hurdle. Here he stalked the pace set by Sam Winner, and then brushed him aside turning for home. He quickly sprinted clear of Cue Card who was doing the best of the rest, and continued to eat up the ground. He was quick at the final flight, despite rapping the top of the hurdle, and Geraghty could ease him down near the line. Runner-up Cue Card ran a strange race. He was very keen early on, with jockey Joe Tizzard content to try and hold him up off the pace. He was very fizzy though, which contributed to several jumping errors, most notably down the far side as the front-running Sam Winner tried to inject a bit of pace into the contest. To Cue Card's credit he ran on well off the home turn, but it was a vain chase as the winner had already shot clear. Although he was keen, and perhaps could have done with more cover rather than being on the outside of the pack, he would never have beaten the winner, and is perhaps just not as good as we all first thought. Third home was Rock On Ruby, who only just got the better of the 128-rated Drill Sergeant. He made a bad mistake at the third which may have put him slightly out of rhythm, and then fluffed the last, but by that point the best he could hope for was a place. He would have preferred a stronger gallop and ran well, with a step up to three miles next season more than likely. Drill Sergeant travelled well for a long way, and although he was a tad one-paced late on, connections will be delighted. Storm Brig came next, having made several jumping errors towards the rear, but he was still able to finish ahead of Sam Winner. This was a very disappointing run, considering he was able to dictate his own pace. He jumped well in the main, but as soon as his rivals bunched around him turning for home he dropped very tamely away. He was miles behind when he hit the last, and connections may be scratching their heads somewhat. His run at Cheltenham was mulish, and he appeared to down tools here; perhaps he has an underlying problem which will need to be sorted out before he tackles fences next season. Bold Sir Brian was outclassed and seemed to be outpaced even though they weren't going quickly, whilst Drive time took a crashing fall at the third from home. He was losing his position at the time, so it was probably just the mistake of a tired horse, but it was a relief to see jockey Brian Hughes emerge unscathed.