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CHELTENHAM 13:50

12:0512:4013:1513:5014:2515:0015:35
< 13:50 >

13:50 Saturday 16 December 2023

VIRGIN BET DECEMBER GOLD CUP CHASE (PREMIER HANDICAP) (1)

Distance : 2m 4f 127y (New)
Prize : £74,035 Age : 4yo+ Race Type : Chase Going : Gd/Sft
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 Gavin Sheehan silk 2. FUGITIF (FR) 2. FUGITIF (FR) -9 <
152+
-2 > 156 Gavin Sheehan 8 11-3 13/27.5 13/27.5
Gavin Sheehan silk bg BALLINGARRY (IRE) - TURIANE (FR) ARVICO (FR) J: Gavin Sheehan
T: Richard Hobson
Age: 8 Wgt: 11-3 Eq: (t) OR: 151
Richard Hobson (t) (151)
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finally landed the big Cheltenham handicap that had hitherto eluded him, in itself a suggestion this wasn't the race it might have been given those previous frustrations, though it's clear he's come back even better all the same, no mean feat even in a strongly-run race to make up as much ground as he did; settling better than in the Paddy Power was crucial, the gallop helping in that regard, though he found himself even further back after running into the grounded So Scottish 4 out (still had 14 lengths to find 3 out and 8 lengths 2 out), pressing the leader through the final 1f but taking until the line to edge ahead; handicaps will be a thing of the past soon the way he's progressed, and it remains to be seen if he's got it in him to make the step up to the different circumstances of graded company.
held up, hampered 4 out, still off pace next, took fourth 2 out, kept on well flat, pressed leader final 1f, edged ahead line
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2 2 Bryony Frost silk sh 5. IL RIDOTO (FR) 5. IL RIDOTO (FR) -5 <
144
0 > 148 Bryony Frost 6 10-9 17/29.5 17/29.5
Bryony Frost silk bg KAPGARDE (FR) - L'EXPLORATRICE (FR) TREMPOLINO (USA) J: Bryony Frost
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 6 Wgt: 10-9 Eq: (s+t) OR: 143
Paul Nicholls (s+t) (143)
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met with his most agonising defeat yet in these middle-distance handicaps here in which he's become such a regular feature, reverting to the tactics that had seen him win one on Trials' Day all but seeing him home, burning off his long-time main rival (pair 14 lengths clear of winner 3 out) and, after getting away in the straight, not lying down in the slightest, Fugitif ending up having to dig to his maximum to edge by; it's a well-worn comment in his case, but it's still hard to believe he won't be at least as well served tackling a Grand Annual rather than a Plate ridden like this.
led, jumped well, joined 7th, went on again end of back straight, reduced advantage last, tackled final 1f, rallied, edged out only line
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3 3 Charlie Deutsch silk 10. FRERO BANBOU (FR) 10. FRERO BANBOU (FR) +7 <
125+
+11 > 129 Charlie Deutsch 8 10-2 (9-13) 9/110 9/110
Charlie Deutsch silk bg APSIS - LADY BANBOU (FR) USEFUL (FR) J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
Age: 8 Wgt: 10-2 (9-13) OR: 136
Venetia Williams (136)
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showed no ill-effects from a hard race in a big handicap the time before as he finished placed in yet another one even from 3 lb wrong at the weights, though he cracked in his drawn-out head-to-head with a runner-up who's had plenty of chances himself, extending a losing run dating back nearly 2 years; pressed leader, disputed lead seventh, upsides until home turn, weakened.
pressed leader, disputed lead 7th, upsides until home turn, weakened
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4 4 Tom Bellamy silk nk 9. GRANDEUR D'AME (FR) 9. GRANDEUR D'AME (FR) +6 <
125+
> 129 Tom Bellamy 7 10-2 (9-13) 22/123 22/123
Tom Bellamy silk bg DESIR D'UN SOIR (FR) - SOURYA D'AIRY (FR) SHEYRANN J: Tom Bellamy
T: Alan King
Age: 7 Wgt: 10-2 (9-13) OR: 136
Alan King (136)
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wasn't at all disgraced, his SP surely reflecting the doubts over what his Wetherby rout might really be worth, arguably best placed of all in hitting the frame from effectively 11 lb higher (3 lb out of weights); pressed leader until fifth, third next, effort when shaken up home turn, no further impression.
pressed leader until 5th, 3rd next, effort when shaken up home turn, no further impression
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5 5 Jonjo O'Neill Jr. silk 1. FAKIR D'OUDAIRIES (FR) 1. FAKIR D'OUDAIRIES (FR) +9 <
149+
-1 > 153 Jonjo O'Neill Jr. 8 12-0 11/112 11/112
Jonjo O'Neill Jr. silk bg KAPGARDE (FR) - NIAGARIA DU BOIS (FR) GRAND TRESOR (FR) J: Jonjo O'Neill Jr.
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien, Ireland
Age: 8 Wgt: 12-0 OR: 162
Joseph Patrick O'Brien, Ireland (162)
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was given a considerate return from an 8-month break, his owner's second string according to the betting and catching the eye; held up, hampered 4 out, still plenty to do entering straight, kept on gradually, not given at all a hard time; he's likely to more than pay his way again this season, including if kept to top handicaps (this his first ever run in one) around this trip.
held up, hampered 4 out, still off pace entering straight, kept on gradually
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6 6 Sam Twiston-Davies silk 11. TORN AND FRAYED (FR) 11. TORN AND FRAYED (FR) -4 <
121
-43 > 125 Sam Twiston-Davies 9 10-2 (9-13) 28/129 28/129
Sam Twiston-Davies silk bg CALIFET (FR) - CHIC ET ZEN (FR) CHICHICASTENANGO (FR) J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 9 Wgt: 10-2 (9-13) OR: 136
Nigel Twiston-Davies (136)
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proved he retains a good deal of ability whilst again coming up short (3 lb out of the weights); prominent main group, shaken up after 4 out, left behind gradually.
prominent main group, shaken up after 4 out, left behind gradually
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7 7 Harry Cobden silk 4. MONMIRAL (FR) 4. MONMIRAL (FR) H (119) <
128+
0 > 132 Harry Cobden 6 10-11 4/15 4/15
Harry Cobden silk blg SAINT DES SAINTS (FR) - ACHERE (FR) MONT BASILE (FR) J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 6 Wgt: 10-11 OR: 145
Paul Nicholls (145)
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continues to underachieve relative to the standards he'd set as a leading juvenile hurdler, well backed sent handicapping following a breathing operation but outshone even by one from his own yard; tracked pace, ridden when disputed fourth end of back straight, left behind gradually.
tracked pace, ridden when disputed fourth end of back straight, left behind gradually
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8 8 Harry Skelton silk 7. JAY JAY REILLY (IRE) 7. JAY JAY REILLY (IRE) +14 <
118
H (137) > 122 Harry Skelton 7 10-5 33/134 33/134
Harry Skelton silk bg FAME AND GLORY - GARDEN CITY (IRE) SHERNAZAR J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 7 Wgt: 10-5 OR: 139
Dan Skelton (139)
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wasn't up to this better company, the removal of cheekpieces almost certainly a non-factor; soon steadied, mistake 4 out, hampered there, always behind.
steadied start, mistake 4 out, hampered there, always behind
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9 9 Derek Fox silk 6 8. DO YOUR JOB (IRE) 8. DO YOUR JOB (IRE) +17 <
107
+21 > 111 Derek Fox 9 10-2 22/123 22/123
Derek Fox silk bg FAME AND GLORY - FULL OF BIRDS (FR) EPERVIER BLEU J: Derek Fox
T: Lucinda Russell
Age: 9 Wgt: 10-2 Eq: (t) OR: 136
Lucinda Russell (t) (136)
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has been disappointing for a while now, physical issues presumably at the heart of it; waited with, lost ground gradually back straight, struggling 3 out.
waited with, lost ground gradually back straight, struggling 3 out
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F F C. Stone-Walsh silk 12. RAILWAY HURRICANE (IRE) 12. RAILWAY HURRICANE (IRE) <
> C. Stone-Walsh (5) 8 10-2 (9-9) 33/134 33/134
C. Stone-Walsh silk bg PERUGINO (USA) - ROSE EARLEY (IRE) DEFINITE ARTICLE J: C. Stone-Walsh (5)
T: Gavin Patrick Cromwell, Ireland
Age: 8 Wgt: 10-2 (9-9) Eq: (b+t) OR: 136
Gavin Patrick Cromwell, Ireland (b+t) (136)
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made little appeal on paper from 7 lb out of the handicap in a race of this calibre and was still behind when falling 4 out.
rear, behind when fell 4 out
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F F M. P. Walsh silk 6. SO SCOTTISH (FR) 6. SO SCOTTISH (FR) <
+
H (129) > M. P. Walsh 6 10-7 5/16 5/16
M. P. Walsh silk bg MARTALINE - MER D'ARABIE (FR) BALLINGARRY (IRE) J: M. P. Walsh
T: Emmet Mullins, Ireland
Age: 6 Wgt: 10-7 Eq: (t) OR: 141
Emmet Mullins, Ireland (t) (141)
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is well worth another chance in one of these, boasting a standout second to a thrown-in Boothill among his efforts as a novice and, tried tongue tied with a run behind him, still going strongly waited with when falling 4 out, looking sure to have a say in the finish at the time.
waited with, going well when fell 4 out
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pu pu Sean Bowen silk 3. THUNDER ROCK (IRE) 3. THUNDER ROCK (IRE) <
> Sean Bowen 7 10-12 3/14f 3/14f
Sean Bowen silk bg SHIROCCO (GER) - LA BELLE SAUVAGE OLD VIC J: Sean Bowen
T: Olly Murphy
Age: 7 Wgt: 10-12 OR: 146
Olly Murphy (146)
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completely failed to handle this sterner examination of his credentials for a well-run, top-level handicap, his jumping so worryingly poor he'll probably be best watched next time; settled mid-field early, lost place when slow third, mistakes after, behind early final circuit (lost shoe).
settled mid-field early, lost place when slow 3rd, mistakes after, behind early final circuit, lost shoe
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All 12 ran. Fences: 17. Race Distance Adjustment: +38 yds

Winning Owner: Mr Carl Hinchy & Dr Emad Hussain

Time: 5m 11.5s Closing Sectional: (3.84f): 59.9s (96.2%)

Overrounds: Industry SP 122%, Betfair SP 103.3%

The artist known currently as the December Gold Cup is never going to be uncompetitive but it's all the harder to judge this year's renewal positively - including relative to the equivalent handicap at the November meeting - considering it saw a pair of 'nearly' horses in these big handicaps pull so far clear of a third who's had plenty of racing and been expensive to follow himself, Frero Banbou and Il Ridoto having set the race alight by pressing on so far out that they were clear well before a melee 4 out that claimed a couple, including the threatening So Scottish.

FUGITIF (FR) finally landed the big Cheltenham handicap that had hitherto eluded him, in itself a suggestion this wasn't the race it might have been given those previous frustrations, though it's clear he's come back even better all the same, no mean feat even in a strongly-run race to make up as much ground as he did; settling better than in the Paddy Power was crucial, the gallop helping in that regard, though he found himself even further back after running into the grounded So Scottish 4 out (still had 14 lengths to find 3 out and 8 lengths 2 out), pressing the leader through the final 1f but taking until the line to edge ahead; handicaps will be a thing of the past soon the way he's progressed, and it remains to be seen if he's got it in him to make the step up to the different circumstances of graded company.

IL RIDOTO (FR) met with his most agonising defeat yet in these middle-distance handicaps here in which he's become such a regular feature, reverting to the tactics that had seen him win one on Trials' Day all but seeing him home, burning off his long-time main rival (pair 14 lengths clear of winner 3 out) and, after getting away in the straight, not lying down in the slightest, Fugitif ending up having to dig to his maximum to edge by; it's a well-worn comment in his case, but it's still hard to believe he won't be at least as well served tackling a Grand Annual rather than a Plate ridden like this.

FRERO BANBOU (FR) showed no ill-effects from a hard race in a big handicap the time before as he finished placed in yet another one even from 3 lb wrong at the weights, though he cracked in his drawn-out head-to-head with a runner-up who's had plenty of chances himself, extending a losing run dating back nearly 2 years; pressed leader, disputed lead seventh, upsides until home turn, weakened.

GRANDEUR D'AME (FR) wasn't at all disgraced, his SP surely reflecting the doubts over what his Wetherby rout might really be worth, arguably best placed of all in hitting the frame from effectively 11 lb higher (3 lb out of weights); pressed leader until fifth, third next, effort when shaken up home turn, no further impression.

FAKIR D'OUDAIRIES (FR) was given a considerate return from an 8-month break, his owner's second string according to the betting and catching the eye; held up, hampered 4 out, still plenty to do entering straight, kept on gradually, not given at all a hard time; he's likely to more than pay his way again this season, including if kept to top handicaps (this his first ever run in one) around this trip.

TORN AND FRAYED (FR) proved he retains a good deal of ability whilst again coming up short (3 lb out of the weights); prominent main group, shaken up after 4 out, left behind gradually.

MONMIRAL (FR) continues to underachieve relative to the standards he'd set as a leading juvenile hurdler, well backed sent handicapping following a breathing operation but outshone even by one from his own yard; tracked pace, ridden when disputed fourth end of back straight, left behind gradually.

JAY JAY REILLY (IRE) wasn't up to this better company, the removal of cheekpieces almost certainly a non-factor; soon steadied, mistake 4 out, hampered there, always behind.

DO YOUR JOB (IRE) has been disappointing for a while now, physical issues presumably at the heart of it; waited with, lost ground gradually back straight, struggling 3 out.

RAILWAY HURRICANE (IRE) made little appeal on paper from 7 lb out of the handicap in a race of this calibre and was still behind when falling 4 out.

SO SCOTTISH (FR) is well worth another chance in one of these, boasting a standout second to a thrown-in Boothill among his efforts as a novice and, tried tongue tied with a run behind him, still going strongly waited with when falling 4 out, looking sure to have a say in the finish at the time.

THUNDER ROCK (IRE) completely failed to handle this sterner examination of his credentials for a well-run, top-level handicap, his jumping so worryingly poor he'll probably be best watched next time; settled mid-field early, lost place when slow third, mistakes after, behind early final circuit (lost shoe).