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CHELTENHAM 15:30

13:3014:1014:5015:3016:1016:5017:30
< 15:30 >

15:30 Wednesday 15 March 2017

BETWAY QUEEN MOTHER CHAMPION CHASE (Grade 1) (1)

Distance : 1m 7f 199y (Old)
Prize : £208,300 Age : 5yo+ Race Type : Chase Going : Good
Race Type : Chase
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Pedigree
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Race Reports
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Running Notes
Pos Pos Btn Horse Name Horse Name TFR Tfig Jockey Age Wgt ISP ISP BSP Hi/Lo
Pedigree Jockey & Trainer Trainer (Equip) (OR) (Place) BSP
1 1 Noel Fehily silk 8. SPECIAL TIARA 8. SPECIAL TIARA -46 <
163
> -2 141 Noel Fehily 10 11-10 11/112 11/112 BSP
Noel Fehily silk bg KAYF TARA - SPECIAL CHOICE (IRE) BOB BACK (USA) J: Noel Fehily
T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
Age: 10 Wgt: 11-10
Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
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scotched any suggestion that he's a waning force as he made it fourth time lucky in a race in which he'd finished third in both 2015 and 2016, a perrformance on a par with the one which saw him chase home Sprinter Sacre and Un de Sceaux last year good enough this time around in a race weakened by Douvan's failure to deliver, and while inevitably much of the post-race analysis will focus on that, Special Tiara was a worthy winner among those that showed their form; disputing the lead from the off, he pressed on before the fifth, continued to jump boldly in a front and held on gamely having jumped the last 2 lengths clear; Sandown and Punchestown are his 2 options for the rest of the season and a reproduction of this will obviously make him a major contender for one or both of those, though there's a fair chance that those races will take a bit more winning than this one did, if the likes of Un de Sceaux, a back-in-form Douvan or even Altior show up.
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2 2 Aidan Coleman silk hd 2. FOX NORTON (FR) 2. FOX NORTON (FR) -10 <
163+
> +5 141 Aidan Coleman 7 11-10 7/18 7/18 BSP
Aidan Coleman silk bg LANDO (GER) - NATT MUSIK (FR) KENDOR (FR) J: Aidan Coleman
T: Colin Tizzard
Age: 7 Wgt: 11-10 Eq: (h)
Colin Tizzard (h)
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last seen chasing home Altior in the Game Spirit, ran as well as he ever has back at a track where he's built up such a good record, finding the line coming a stride or 2 too early having been tapped for toe slightly after 3 out; in touch, pecked sixth, outpaced 3 out, headway from next, chased leader run-in, stayed on well, just failed; he's never tried 2½m but won't have any problem with the trip judged on this effort and it's no surprise that connections suggested his next race will be the Melling Chase.
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3 3 Paddy Brennan silk 6 6. SIR VALENTINO (FR) 6. SIR VALENTINO (FR) +4 <
155+
> -24 133 Paddy Brennan 8 11-10 33/134 33/134 BSP
Paddy Brennan silk bg EARLY MARCH - VALENTINE (FR) DOUBLE BED (FR) J: Paddy Brennan
T: Tom George
Age: 8 Wgt: 11-10 Eq: (t)
Tom George (t)
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finished further behind Special Tiara than at Kempton in December but added another high-class effort to his own collection and there can be no doubting the solidity of this run, not quite good enough in the end but doing everything right along the way; held up, travelled well, headway 4 out, went second last, no extra run-in.
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4 4 Davy Russell silk hd 9. TOP GAMBLE (IRE) 9. TOP GAMBLE (IRE) -3 <
155+
> -12 133 Davy Russell 9 11-10 20/121 20/121 BSP
Davy Russell silk chg PRESENTING - ZEFERINA (IRE) SADLER'S WELLS (USA) J: Davy Russell
T: Kerry Lee
Age: 9 Wgt: 11-10 Eq: (t)
Kerry Lee (t)
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didn't threaten but typically gave his running and nearly snatched third faced with more of a speed test than suits him ideally - it'd definitely be interesting to see him back over 2½m some time soon; mid-division, outpaced 3 out, finished well.
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5 5 A. P. Heskin silk 1 4. GOD'S OWN (IRE) 4. GOD'S OWN (IRE) +7 <
153+
> -9 131 A. P. Heskin 9 11-10 6/17 6/17 BSP
A. P. Heskin silk bg OSCAR (IRE) - DANTES TERM (IRE) PHARDANTE (FR) J: A. P. Heskin
T: Tom George
Age: 9 Wgt: 11-10
Tom George
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looked at the top of his game on his first start for 3 months and would have been third at worst but for serious mistakes at both 4 out and 2 out, doing well to recover from the former (which cost him both momentum and places) but finding the latter (having just made smooth progress into a clear second) finishing him off; he'll presumably have at least one of Aintree and Punchestown on the agenda again and he's clearly every bit as good now as when winning at both last spring.
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6 6 Joshua Moore silk nk 10. TRAFFIC FLUIDE (FR) 10. TRAFFIC FLUIDE (FR) -42 <
153?
> -3 131 Joshua Moore 7 11-10 50/151 50/151 BSP
Joshua Moore silk bg ASTARABAD (USA) - PETALE ROUGE (FR) BONNET ROUGE (FR) J: Joshua Moore
T: Gary Moore
Age: 7 Wgt: 11-10
Gary Moore
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back down markedly in trip, proved he retains his ability at the third time of asking this season, never in the hunt but running more or less up to his best, with the way he finished the race off proposing another try at around 2½m; held up, hit 4 out, outpaced next, late headway.
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7 7 R. Walsh silk 4 1. DOUVAN (FR) 1. DOUVAN (FR) +4 <
148+
> 126 R. Walsh 7 11-10 2/91.22f 2/91.22f BSP
R. Walsh silk bg WALK IN THE PARK (IRE) - STAR FACE (FR) SAINT DES SAINTS (FR) J: R. Walsh
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Age: 7 Wgt: 11-10
W. P. Mullins, Ireland
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lost his aura of invincibility bidding for a third Festival win, faced with more meaningful opposition than for his small-field cakewalks in Ireland earlier this season but more to the point just not on his game, with a totally out-of-character sketchy round of jumping perhaps symptomatic of something troubling him; soon settled behind the leaders, he reached for the third and fourth, got in close to the fifth, was long again at the eighth and was soon on the retreat once asked for an effort after another error 3 out; clearly this defeat doesn't undo everything that's gone before and he still deserves his rating as one of the best jumpers in training, though he'll have a bit to prove next time we see him all the same.
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8 8 Richard Johnson silk 17 3. GARDE LA VICTOIRE (FR) 3. GARDE LA VICTOIRE (FR) +30 <
125+
> H (135) 103 Richard Johnson 8 11-10 14/115 14/115 BSP
Richard Johnson silk bg KAPGARDE (FR) - NEXT VICTORY (FR) AKARAD (FR) J: Richard Johnson
T: Philip Hobbs
Age: 8 Wgt: 11-10
Philip Hobbs
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found this much tougher than the handicap he won at Sandown 10 weeks earlier and ran poorly, seen off by the winner in the battle for the lead by the fifth, making a mistake at the next and soon struggling after a worse one 4 out.
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9 9 Brian Harding silk 13 5. SIMPLY NED (IRE) 5. SIMPLY NED (IRE) +42 <
108
> +6 86 Brian Harding 10 11-10 33/134 33/134 BSP
Brian Harding silk chg FRUITS OF LOVE (USA) - BISHOPS LASS (IRE) MARJU (IRE) J: Brian Harding
T: Nicky Richards
Age: 10 Wgt: 11-10
Nicky Richards
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had a stiff task back from 11 weeks off but even so usually runs better than this; mid-division, not fluent second, weakened soon after 3 out.
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pu pu Tom O'Brien silk 7. SIZING GRANITE (IRE) 7. SIZING GRANITE (IRE) H (108) <
> H (106) Tom O'Brien 9 11-10 50/151 50/151 BSP
Tom O'Brien silk brg MILAN - HAZEL'S TISRARA (IRE) MANDALUS J: Tom O'Brien
T: Colin Tizzard
Age: 9 Wgt: 11-10 Eq: (t)
Colin Tizzard (t)
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last seen finishing mid-field in a Taunton handicap hurdle, had a stiff task but didn't shape with any encouragement; off pace, struggling from seventh, pulled up before 4 out.
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All 10 ran. Fences: 13.

Winning Owner: Mrs S. Rowley-Williams

Time: 3m 54.2s Closing Sectional: (3.75f): 56.60s (97.6%)

At 9/2-on Douvan was the shortest-priced Festival favourite this century, justifiably so given he was 16 lb clear on pre-race ratings and hadn't been extended in 9 previous outings over fences; however, once underway he failed to jump with any fluency and was done for by 3 out, after which it was left for some horses whose limitations are rather better known to fight it out, and while the pair that came clear still put up top-class efforts, it certainly doesn't go down as a vintage Champion Chase, not even the best form shown in a 2m chase in Britain this season, that honour belonging to the Ryanair-bound Un de Sceaux; the winner set a sound pace, racing clear from the fifth until 3 out, and kept just enough in reserve to hold off a runner-up for whom a brief flat spot on the home turn proved costly.

SPECIAL TIARA scotched any suggestion that he's a waning force as he made it fourth time lucky in a race in which he'd finished third in both 2015 and 2016, a perrformance on a par with the one which saw him chase home Sprinter Sacre and Un de Sceaux last year good enough this time around in a race weakened by Douvan's failure to deliver, and while inevitably much of the post-race analysis will focus on that, Special Tiara was a worthy winner among those that showed their form; disputing the lead from the off, he pressed on before the fifth, continued to jump boldly in a front and held on gamely having jumped the last 2 lengths clear; Sandown and Punchestown are his 2 options for the rest of the season and a reproduction of this will obviously make him a major contender for one or both of those, though there's a fair chance that those races will take a bit more winning than this one did, if the likes of Un de Sceaux, a back-in-form Douvan or even Altior show up.

FOX NORTON (FR) last seen chasing home Altior in the Game Spirit, ran as well as he ever has back at a track where he's built up such a good record, finding the line coming a stride or 2 too early having been tapped for toe slightly after 3 out; in touch, pecked sixth, outpaced 3 out, headway from next, chased leader run-in, stayed on well, just failed; he's never tried 2½m but won't have any problem with the trip judged on this effort and it's no surprise that connections suggested his next race will be the Melling Chase.

SIR VALENTINO (FR) finished further behind Special Tiara than at Kempton in December but added another high-class effort to his own collection and there can be no doubting the solidity of this run, not quite good enough in the end but doing everything right along the way; held up, travelled well, headway 4 out, went second last, no extra run-in.

TOP GAMBLE (IRE) didn't threaten but typically gave his running and nearly snatched third faced with more of a speed test than suits him ideally - it'd definitely be interesting to see him back over 2½m some time soon; mid-division, outpaced 3 out, finished well.

GOD'S OWN (IRE) looked at the top of his game on his first start for 3 months and would have been third at worst but for serious mistakes at both 4 out and 2 out, doing well to recover from the former (which cost him both momentum and places) but finding the latter (having just made smooth progress into a clear second) finishing him off; he'll presumably have at least one of Aintree and Punchestown on the agenda again and he's clearly every bit as good now as when winning at both last spring.

TRAFFIC FLUIDE (FR) back down markedly in trip, proved he retains his ability at the third time of asking this season, never in the hunt but running more or less up to his best, with the way he finished the race off proposing another try at around 2½m; held up, hit 4 out, outpaced next, late headway.

DOUVAN (FR) lost his aura of invincibility bidding for a third Festival win, faced with more meaningful opposition than for his small-field cakewalks in Ireland earlier this season but more to the point just not on his game, with a totally out-of-character sketchy round of jumping perhaps symptomatic of something troubling him; soon settled behind the leaders, he reached for the third and fourth, got in close to the fifth, was long again at the eighth and was soon on the retreat once asked for an effort after another error 3 out; clearly this defeat doesn't undo everything that's gone before and he still deserves his rating as one of the best jumpers in training, though he'll have a bit to prove next time we see him all the same.

GARDE LA VICTOIRE (FR) found this much tougher than the handicap he won at Sandown 10 weeks earlier and ran poorly, seen off by the winner in the battle for the lead by the fifth, making a mistake at the next and soon struggling after a worse one 4 out.

SIMPLY NED (IRE) had a stiff task back from 11 weeks off but even so usually runs better than this; mid-division, not fluent second, weakened soon after 3 out.

SIZING GRANITE (IRE) last seen finishing mid-field in a Taunton handicap hurdle, had a stiff task but didn't shape with any encouragement; off pace, struggling from seventh, pulled up before 4 out.