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Cheltenham

  • 12:30 Ryman Stationery Cheltenham Business Club Novices' Chase2m 5f

  • £20,000 added 4yo+ 5 ran
  • Winner £12,512 2nd £3,696 3rd £1,848 4th £924
  • Going: Good (Cross Country: Good, Good to Firm in places)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 16.10s
  • Off time: 12:30:36

Full result

12:30 Cheltenham Result 13th December 2013
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Oscar Whisky (IRE) 11-0 B J Geraghty N J Henderson 8 4/5f
Made all, often went slightly right, mistake 4 out, pecked 3 out, ridden when pressed before last, kept on flat and always just holding rival opened 10/11 touched 10/11 £500-£500 £1000-£1100 £500-£550 £2500-£3000 £1667-£2000(x3) £500-£600(x2) £240-£340
2nd ½ Wonderful Charm (FR) 11-8 D A Jacob P F Nicholls 5 5/4
Chased leader, closed 2 out, challenged last, ridden flat, kept on but always just held by winner opened 5/4 touched 11/8 £600-£400 £550-£400(x2)
3rd 76 Red Riverman 11-8 Sam Twiston-Davies N A Twiston-Davies 5 50/1
Held up in 4th, mistake 11th, beginning to struggle when left 3rd 4 out, well held by front pair after opened 50/1 touched 50/1
4th 73 Captain Ocana (IRE) 11-5 Nick Scholfield P Henderson 8 100/1
Raced in last, not fluent and lost touch 5th, tailed off after, left 4th 4 out opened 100/1 touched 100/1
F Close House 11-0 T Scudamore D Pipe 6 14/1
Raced in 3rd, not fluent 2nd, closing when fell 4 out opened 12/1 touched 14/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££1.10,£1.10
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00

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

Verdict

Nicky Henderson made no secret of his frustration that OSCAR WHISKY had had to make the running on his chase debut here last month so his rivals were never likely to give him a lead and Barry Geraghty sensibly went on. His jumping was far from perfect on debut but it's worth remembering that he had been put off at the first on that occasion which would hardly have helped and he was far more accomplished here. Taquin Du Seuil had mugged him on the hill last month but Wonderful Charm was able to repeat the feat which will greatly encourage the connections of the winner that their eight year old can certainly challenge in the top races with the Jewson being the obvious target. It is just worth the caveat that stamina has been a potent strength of many an Arkle winner over the years and he did have sufficient speed to finish third to Hurricane Fly in a Champion Hurdle on his most recent run at around the minimum (a jumpers bumper aside). Wonderful Charm was conceding 8lbs so comes out best at the weights and could now be put away until returning for the Festival. Again, the Jewson is the most likely port of call but his trainer said that he would also be given an entry in the RSA. He's done everything asked of him thus far and has improved on his hurdling form but, although smart, hasn't given the impression that he is a cut above and that's reflected in his position in the ante-post markets. Close House hasn't really delivered on the promise of his form in bumpers but was in the process of running a big race when departing on ground that may well have been faster than ideal. It's to be hoped his confidence isn't affected and it will be interesting to see if he can build on this next time.