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

Full Result

13:35 Kempton Park
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 5 Royal Boy (FR) N J Henderson 7 11-7 A P McCoy 9/1
SP 9/1 Tracked leader until 4th, handy 3rd, raced wide on back straight, led before 2 out, joined 2 out, narrowly headed last, hard driven run in, stayed on gamely to regain lead final 50 yards opened 8/1 touched 10/1
2nd ½ 3 Josses Hill (IRE) N J Henderson 6 11-7 B J Geraghty 5/1
SP 5/1 Took keen hold early and soon tracking leaders, raced wide on back straight, went 2nd before 2 out, challenged 2 out, slight lead last, hard driven run in, headed and no extra final 50 yards opened 11/2
3rd 11 7 Upazo (FR) W P Mullins 6 11-7 R Walsh 3/1
SP 3/1 Held up in rear, raced wide on back straight, pushed along and plugged on to modest 3rd and not fluent 2 out, no chance with leading duo
4th 2 Garde La Victoire (FR) P J Hobbs 5 11-7 R Johnson 7/1
SP 7/1 Tracked leading pair, mistake 2nd, went 2nd 4th, raced on inside in back straight, lost 2nd 3 out, chased leading pair, one pace and no impression when lost 3rd 2 out, faded opened 11/2
5th 6 The Liquidator D Pipe 6 11-7 T Scudamore 11/8f
SP 11/8f Led, not fluent 3rd, raced on inside in back straight, ridden before 3 out, headed before 2 out, soon beaten opened 15/8 £5250-£3000 £1750-£1000
6th 4 Prince Siegfried (FR) J P Ferguson 8 11-7 D F O'Regan 20/1
SP 20/1 Held up in 5th, not fluent 3rd, raced wide on back straight, pushed along after 3 out, weakened before next opened 11/1
NR 1 Creepy (IRE) M Keighley 6 11-7 2nd Preference

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £9.90 Tote Place £4.70 £2.80 Straight Forecast £50.02 Exacta £26.90 Trifecta £144.40 Swingers 1&2 £3.20, 2&3 £2.60, 1&3 £3.40

Jackpot £20,210.42 carried forward to Kelso, 12th Jan
Placepot £131.70, Pool: £142632.84, 790.36 winning tickets
Quadpot £26.60, Pool: £11114.43, 309.15 winning tickets

Analysis

ROYAL BOY was beaten into third in last year's renewal and had been scheduled to start chasing this season but a poor run at this track on his chase bow saw him revert to hurdling and he won his maiden at Ascot over two miles six before lining up here. That proven stamina undoubtedly played a key part in his victory as he just outbattled his less experienced stablemate with the remainder well beaten off. Clearly always held in high regard, this was only the fifth Rules start of his career and it's worth remembering that he was sent off the 5/2 favourite to beat Melodic Rendezvous 12 months ago. His trainer thought the Neptune would be the best option at the Festival and it's easy to see why but the quotes of around 16/1 (20s in a place) seem about right as the suspicion is that several of his opponents failed to run their race. Stablemate Josses Hill will head to the Sky Bet Supreme for which he can be backed at 20/1 again suggesting the layers were unimpressed with this Grade One. This was a huge run on just his second start over hurdles and he did look the likeliest winner over the last only to be worried out of it. He, again, paid a handsome compliment to the still unbeaten Faugheen who slammed him by 22 lengths in a Punchestown bumper and will have delighted connections who described him as 'next year's horse' following his win at Newbury. He's entitled to take his chance at the spring festivals now and it will be interesting to see if he progresses sufficiently to go into Cheltenham as the yard's number one contender with the likes of The West Wizard still waiting in the wings. Upazo helps provide his trainer with a guide to his stable's leading lights and ran a respectable race under a waiting ride without being good enough to get into a challenging position; conditions may have been soft enough for him. The same may also be true of Prince Siegfried who was in the process of giving the Supreme favourite, Irving, a race when falling at Ascot (also on ground described as soft admittedly) but he failed to back that run up. David Pipe was concerned that this track wouldn't suit The Liquidator but he looked in trouble a long way from home and failed to give his running; his stable have been relatively quiet and presumably something was amiss. Garde La Victoire briefly looked as though he might take a hand in the finish in the back straight but his chance had gone by the time the field rounded the turn. His jumping still leaves a little to be desired while he raced a little keenly and perhaps the combination took their toll on the softest ground that he'd encountered to date. He's worth another chance to confirm the promise of his first two starts this season when conditions dry out.