British Stallion Studs E.B.F. National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle (Qualifier) 2m 1f

  • (4-6yo, 2m 1f, Class 3, 9 runners)
  • Winner £7,507 2nd £2,218 3rd £1,109 4th £554 5th £277 6th £139
  • Going: Good (Cross Country: Good, Good to Firm in places)
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 26.90s
  • Off time: 15:51:53

Full Result

15:45 Cheltenham
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 1 Ballyalton (IRE) Ian Williams 6 11-8 A P McCoy 11/4
SP 11/4 Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, prominent, mistake 5th, led after 2 out, headed narrowly before last, soon led again, driven out opened 3/1 £1000-£300 £1800-£600
2nd nk 3 Garde La Victoire (FR) P J Hobbs 4 11-8 R Johnson 7/4f
SP 7/4f Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, tracked leaders, went 2nd 3 out, led narrowly before last, soon headed, looked held 100 yards out, rallied, just held opened 2/1 touched 13/8 £1000-£500 £1400-£800
3rd 9 5 Cocktails At Dawn N J Henderson 5 10-12 B J Geraghty 5/1
SP 5/1 Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, held up in touch, not fluent 2nd, headway 3 out, challenged 2 out, unable to quicken before last, well held by front pair flat opened 4/1
4th 5 4 Ballyhooley Boy (IRE) R Dickin 6 10-12 C Poste 66/1
SP 66/1 Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, held up in rear, headway 2 out, no impression last, went 4th flat, never near leaders
5th 1 2 Doctor Harper (IRE) D Pipe 5 11-8 T Scudamore 11/4
SP 11/4 Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, led, mistake 2nd, soon headed, not fluent 3rd, led again after 5th, hit 3 out, headed after 2 out, weakened last £3000-£1000
6th 10 7 Ghost Of A Smile (IRE) Ian Williams 5 10-12 W Kennedy 66/1
SP 66/1 Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, tracked leaders, took keen hold, led after 2nd, wandered into 3rd and 4th, mistake 5th, soon headed, weakened 2 out
7th 9 6 Fond Memory (IRE) N A Twiston-Davies 5 10-12 S Twiston-Davies 33/1
SP 33/1 Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, held up in rear, not fluent 3rd or 5th, soon pushed along, well beaten after 3 out opened 40/1
8th ¾ 8 Hawaii Five Nil (IRE) Jonjo O'Neill 5 10-12 R P Mclernon 33/1
SP 33/1 Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, mid-division, headway 5th, weakened 2 out
9th 16 9 Modeligo (IRE) M Sheppard 4 10-12 Mr J M Ridley (7) 150/1
SP 150/1 Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, not fluent 1st, always behind opened 100/1

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £4.00 Tote Place £1.40 £1.10 £1.60 Straight Forecast £8.18 Exacta £8.00 Trifecta £27.70 Swingers 1&2 £1.20, 2&3 £2.50, 1&3 £2.80

Jackpot £11,746.82 carried forward to Southwell, 14th Dec
Placepot £132.40, Pool: £154444.8, 851.17 winning tickets
Quadpot £55.30, Pool: £11487.9, 153.6 winning tickets

Analysis

A race with a decent record of throwing up smart performers, several of whom went on to acquit themselves creditably at the Festival, and this year's renewal promises to be right up to scratch featuring, as it did, several horses with huge potential. One of those, Doctor Harper, failed to run his race but BALLYALTON and Garde La Victoire pulled clear to fight out a terrific finish. The winner didn't really get the credit he deserved for defeating Oscar Rock at Newcastle but opinions of the various merits of that form should be revised in light of this display with his trainer revealing the high hopes that he has for the six year old. There's certainly no reason to believe that he won't be able to hold his own in the Neptune but his current price doesn't make any great appeal as there are plenty of cards still to be played. The runner-up had comfortably accounted for highly regarded prospects sporting the JP McManus silks on his two starts over hurdles and, for all that the beaten horses may well have had valid excuses, he had looked a very smart prospect. This run did nothing to dispel that notion and, if anything, it enhanced it while the gelding's usually phlegmatic trainer talked about a lowering of the sights, a slightly downbeat response which appeared to betray the high regard in which he holds the four year old. While that can only be conjecture, there's no doubting his ability and this was the first time that he's had to get into a fight in his career and the experience should only bring him on. Again the quotes of 16/1 for the Sky Bet Supreme don't set the pulse racing but that's not to say that he can't develop into a live candidate as he gains experience. This was a highly encouraging return from Cocktails At Dawn who had fallen when favourite in his Irish point and disappointed on his Rules bow 12 months previously. He looked likely to play a hand in the finish until being left behind by the front two approaching the second last and will presumably be a warm order to open his account wherever he turns up next. Southwell bumper winner Ballyhooley Boy posted comfortably his best effort to date over hurdles but his immediate future lies in the hands of the assessor while he will appreciate a stiffer test of stamina in time.