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Newbury

  • 14:25 bet365 Long Distance Hurdle 3m 110y

  • (Grade 2) £40,000 added 4yo+ 5 ran
  • Winner £22,780 2nd £8,548 3rd £4,280 4th £2,132
  • Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 51.82s
  • Off time: 14:25:23

Full result

14:25 Newbury Result 30th November 2013
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Celestial Halo (IRE) 11-8 D A Jacob P F Nicholls 9 7/2
Made all and always travelling well, clear after 2nd until approaching 2 out, left well clear 2 out, stayed on strongly, unchallenged opened 5/1 touched 5/1
2nd 17 Medinas (FR) 11-4 R Thornton A King 6 15/2
Not fluent, held up in 4th, jumped slowly and ridden 6th, ridden approaching 8th, outpaced after 4 out, went 3rd between last 2, went poor 2nd and mistake last, never any chance with winner opened 7/1 touched 15/2
3rd nk Reve De Sivola (FR) 11-8 R Johnson Nick Williams 8 7/2
Not always fluent, chased (clear) winner, bumped 2nd, hit 5th, pushed along before 3 out, lost 2nd and hit 3 out, soon outpaced by leading duo, went 2nd again betwen last 2, no chance with winner, lost 2nd last, kept on same pace flat opened 4/1 touched 4/1
4th 5 At Fishers Cross (IRE) 11-4 B J Geraghty Miss R Curtis 6 10/11f
Not fluent, tracked leading pair, went right 2nd, went 2nd 3 out, trying to close in 2 lengths 2nd when sprawled badly on landing 2 out, not recover and eased opened 5/6 touched 10/11 £1000-£1000 £700-£700 £600-£600 £2200-£2200 £1000-£1100 £500-£550 £500-£600
RR Battle Group 11-4 J M Maguire J Farrelly 8 25/1
Refused to race and took no part opened 20/1 touched 25/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££2.40,£2.60
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00

Jackpot: £8,334.75 carried forward to Leicester, 1st Dec
Placepot: £3,628.70, Pool: £202316.98, 40.7 winning tickets
Quadpot: £220.00, Pool: £21137.45, 71.09 winning tickets

Verdict

In the absence of the reigning champion, Big Buck's, who had won this race for the last four seasons this race was supposed to see the coronation of the crown prince but At Fisher's Crosss fluffed his lines as CELESTIAL HALO carried Andy Stewart's colours to a fifth success in this race. If it had not been for his more illustrious stablemate, Celestial Halo would surely have run over three miles far sooner than last March which saw him producing one of the best performances of his career in chasing home Solwhit in the World Hurdle. Rising 10, it's asking too much for him to show improved form at his age but he has certainly shown no signs of deterioration and he is right up there among the 'best of the rest' with Big Buck's having to prove that he can recapture his best after a spell on the sidelines. It is far from certain that At Fishers Cross would have got past even if he had jumped the second last fluently. He rather twisted in the air over the flight rather than hitting it, landing awkwardly and losing all momentum with his jockey allowing him to find his stride and come home, more or less, in his own stride. His hurdling had been far from fluent throughout this first run on the fastest ground that he had encountered and it's to be hoped that he was just rather ring-rusty. Defeat by no means signals an end to his pretensions of claiming the staying crown but it has certainly put a fairly hefty dent in his reputation and (the quite possibly unfair) expectations. Medinas was the principal beneficiary, claiming second despite being the first to come under pressure. This looks to be about as good as he is but he should do more than pay his way if continuing to ply his trade in these contests as there's plenty of prize money on offer for the places. Reve De Sivola failed to run up to his best form but that was to be expected on ground that was significantly quicker than that on which he's shown his best form and he can prove more of a threat granted more suitable conditions.