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Cheltenham

  • 15:35 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase3m 7f

  • £25,000 added 5yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner £15,640 2nd £4,620 3rd £2,310 4th £1,155
  • Going: Soft (Good to Soft in places, Cross Country: Good, Good to Soft in places)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 8m 22.30s
  • Off time: 15:37:08

Balthazar King won the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase at Cheltenham

Last Updated: 14/11/14 4:29pm

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Balthazar King, ridden by Richard Johnson, jumps the last on the way to victory in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.

Balthazar King, ridden by Richard Johnson, jumps the last on the way to victory in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase.

Cross-country champion Balthazar King delivered the goods again in the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chase - but is set to miss the Cheltenham Festival in order to concentrate upon a Crabbie's Grand National bid.

Last year's National runner-up was winning at Cheltenham for the eighth time and has become a real specialist in the unique races.

Usually foot-perfect, he made some uncharacteristically bad blunders on the way round but once he was in front on reaching the racecourse proper, it was going to take a very good horse to get past him.

Uncle Junior tried his best but the 4/7 favourite won by a length and a half.

His victory gave the in-form trainer Philip Hobbs and jockey Richard Johnson an opening-day treble at the Paddy Power meeting.

"I don't think I've ever ridden a horse who tries as hard as him," said Johnson.

"He hated every minute of it today as the ground was too soft for him, I couldn't ride him as aggressively as normal because of that. If every horse tried as hard as him it would be easy."

Hobbs added: "He's a fantastic horse and I've just been told he's equalled the record for the number of times a horse has won here.

"He started off very moderately and then progressed out of all recognition.

"I don't think he'll run again - not until the Grand National. He's better fresh and doesn't like soft ground anyway."

Balthazar King remains a 25/1 chance for the Crabbie's Grand National with Sky Bet.

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