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Cheltenham

  • 13:35 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle 2m 110y

  • (Registered As The Sharp Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 2) £30,000 added 4yo+ 4 ran
  • Winner £17,085 2nd £6,411 3rd £3,210 4th £1,599
  • Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 5.50s
  • Off time: 13:36:36

Full result

13:35 Cheltenham Result 17th November 2013
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st The Liquidator 11-4 T Scudamore D Pipe 5 6/4
Made all, clear 5th, landed awkwardly after overjumping 2 out, ridden approaching last, stayed on strongly, unchallenged opened 5/4 touched 13/8 £1625-£1000 £2600-£1600 £2750-£2000 £1375-£1000 £750-£500 £560-£400
2nd 15 Sea Lord (IRE) 11-7 D F O'Regan J P Ferguson 6 Evsf
Tracked leader until before 3rd, pushed along and struggling 4th, last after next, went modest 3rd when mistake 2 out, stayed on from after last, went 2nd close home, no chance with winner opened 5/4 touched 5/4 £1375-£1000 £1250-£1000 £600-£500(x2) £625-£500 £2000-£2000 £1000-£1000(x2) £500-£500(x2)
3rd ½ Minellaforleisure (IRE) 11-4 P J Brennan A M Hales 5 28/1
Raced wide, held up in 4th, not fluent 5th, headway to chase winner before 3 out, never on terms and well held last, lost 2nd close home opened 20/1 touched 33/1
4th 18 Lac Fontana (FR) 11-7 D A Jacob P F Nicholls 4 7/1
Tracked leaders, went 2nd before 3rd until approaching 3 out, soon last and well held, not fluent 2 out opened 6/1 touched 7/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £0.00
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00

Jackpot: £109,139.18 carried forward to Wolverhampton, 18th Nov
Placepot: £39.10, Pool: £199028.56, 3713.76 winning tickets
Quadpot: £6.60, Pool: £17526.49, 1958.51 winning tickets

Verdict

Two of the last three winners, Cue Card and Steps To Freedom, were towards the fore of the market for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle in March (finishing fourth and fourteenth) and THE LIQUIDATOR will surely be a leading fancy if taking his chance in that race at the Festival, assuming everything goes well in the interim. Held in high-regard last season, he didn't let connections down when finishing fourth in the Champion Bumper but surpassed that when winning the Grade One at Punchestown. He'd already had a sighter over hurdles at Carlisle and his jockey left nothing to chance here, jumping out and making sure that the race was a proper test. While the form of the race is clearly open to question with Sea Lord disappointing and Lac Fontana failing to progress as anticipated, there was still a good deal to like about the quality of this performance. Tougher tests await and there's plenty of water to pass under the bridge between now and March but quotes of 14/1 for the Supreme are perfectly fair as he's obviously not short of speed and the Champion Bumper has proved a good guide to that particular contest in recent years. Sea Lord had rattled up a six-timer during the summer and was rated 150 but it would be no surprise if that turned out to flatter him now that he is faced with tougher opposition in the winter months. The way that he rallied to gain second having looked as though he might finish tailed off is to his credit with his jockey convinced that a step up in trip will suit. A smart sort on the Flat, it could be that he needs genuine spring ground to flourish and it will be interesting to see if connections opt to keep him on the go over the winter months. This was a fine performance from Minellaforleisure who didn't reproduce the promise of his Irish form in bumpers for his new yard last term. His trainer was understandably delighted with the run but his season could hinge on how the handicapper views this performance while his long-term future can be expected to lie over fences. Lac Fontana had a vaguely similar profile to Dodging Bullets who won this race for the same stable last season but, in contrast to last year's winner, he was very weak in the market and failed to threaten.