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Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase
Listed, Cheltenham 17:30
£70,000 added, 5yo plus,
2m 4f 78y, Class 1    
Tuesday 14th March 2017

Cheltenham £50 Bonus

1 Tully East 8/1
2 Gold Present 14/1
3 Two Taffs 7/1
4 Powersbomb 22/1
20 ran Distances: 1¼l, nk, 6l
Time: 5m 11.00s (slow by 13.00s)

Tully East wins the closing novice handicap chase on day one of the Cheltenham Festival

Tully East
© Caroline Norris
Tully East

The Alan Fleming-trained Tully East, an 8/1 chance, ran out an authoritative winner of the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase.

Settled in midfield early on by Denis O'Regan in the extended two-mile and four-furlong contest, the seven-year-old son of Shantou made stealthy headway under a motionless O'Regan entering the home straight and quickened clear after jumping the final fence to score by a comfortable length and a quarter from Nicky Henderson's staying-on Gold Present in second.

Two Taffs, trained by Dan Skelton, was a neck back in third with Brian McMahon's Powersbomb, a further six lengths back in fourth.

Fleming, saddling his first winner at the Festival for his main owner Barry Connnell, was delighted with the gelding's performance and said: "It's so thrilling - I couldn't tell you how thrilling this is. Denis was so cool on him. He is the man for the big day. What an awesome horse, awesome jockey and awesome owners - brilliant!

"It was like an obstacle course out there at times but Denis is very clever and very astute to what is going on around him and gave him a brilliant ride. I can't put into words what this means."

Fourth in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle at last year's Festival, Fleming was keen to bring his charge back to Prestbury Park over fences this season, commenting: "He ran a great race here last year and it was nice to win a chase here this year.

"We weren't that confident coming into the race as we have had an up-and-down season. It's been a very stop-start season but this makes up for it a bit.

"He has a lot of ability, and if this horse gets a clear run now he could be very good. I'm not sure how far he can go but he has won a handicap today and he has lots of pace and lots of talent and I was very impressed with the way he jumped today.

"He was super clever and I would like to run him in a graded race later this season."

County Kildare handler Fleming saddles Usuel Smurfer in tomorrow's Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase (4.10pm) and Bakmaj in the concluding Weatherbys Champion Bumper (5.30pm).

Fleming said of the duo: "Usuel Smurfer, if the ground continues to dry out, will run a really good race, I think the trip will suit him and he is the most natural thing I have ever seen over those obstacles. Since the first day we schooled him, he was loving it and we are hopeful of a big run.

"Bakmaj is way up there with our horses when we work him at home so hopefully he runs well."

Betfred.com

Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed)
£70,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 4f 78y, Class 1
20 ran
Going: Good to Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Tully East (IRE) 8/1 D F O'Regan
11-8
A Fleming 7
2nd Gold Present (IRE) 14/1 J McGrath
11-7
N J Henderson 7
3rd nk Two Taffs (IRE) 7/1 D N Russell
11-7
D Skelton 7
4th 6 Powersbomb (IRE) 22/1 Mr J J Codd
11-8
Brian M McMahon 7
5th ¾ Last Goodbye (IRE) 22/1 S W Flanagan
11-10
Miss E Doyle 6
6th 1 Bun Doran (IRE) 10/1 A P Heskin
11-9
T R George 6
7th 3 Relentless Dreamer (IRE) 40/1 P Townend
11-8
Miss R Curtis 8
8th Deans Road (IRE) 33/1 A E Lynch
11-8
H de Bromhead 8
9th Double W's (IRE) 16/1 B Hughes
11-10
J M Jefferson 7
10th 11 Zamdy Man 12/1 Aidan Coleman
11-12
Miss V Williams 8
PU Mixboy (FR) 16/1 B P Harding
11-10
K Dalgleish 7
PU Hammersly Lake (FR) 16/1 D J Mullins
11-10
N J Henderson 9
PU Captain Redbeard (IRE) 22/1 Sam Coltherd (5)
11-9
W Coltherd 8
PU Templehills (IRE) 66/1 D Crosse
11-9
N A Twiston-Davies 6
PU Its'afreebee (IRE) 11/1 Harry Skelton
11-9
D Skelton 7
PU Sizing Tennessee (IRE) 14/1 T J O'Brien
11-7
C L Tizzard 9
PU All Hell Let Loose (IRE) 14/1 B J Cooper
11-7
H de Bromhead 8
F Foxtail Hill (IRE) 6/1f William Twiston-Davies
11-10
N A Twiston-Davies 8
F Killiney Court (IRE) 33/1 M P Fogarty
11-9
H de Bromhead 8
F Burtons Well (IRE) 8/1 Charlie Deutsch (3)
11-7
Miss V Williams 8

Mathematician Betting

O'REGAN ENDS FIVE-YEAR FESTIVAL DROUGHT

Denis O'Regan added a fourth Festival winner to his record when Tully East took the final race on the first day of the Festival.

O'Regan rode Tidal Bay to win the Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase and Inglis Drever to win the Stayers' Hurdle in 2008, and took the 2012 Pertemps Final on Cape Tribulation. He moved back to Ireland to take up a retainer with Tully East's owner Barry Connell last summer.

O'Regan said: "I'm just so pleased that the horse won. He's a class horse and has been giving me that feel all year, and he has just run into a couple of good horses on the way. I was hopeful without being over-confident; we need so much luck here. He jumped, he travelled, and we had luck in the race with horses falling in front of us.

"I can't tell you how much I appreciate being back in this winner's enclosure, because it is so hard to get on these horses. I'll be forever grateful to Barry Connell and his family and to Alan Fleming for giving me the opportunity to ride this horse and other good horses. And the week is only starting, but whatever happens now we can look forward to the rest of it.

"I've never enjoyed a job as much as this one. I'm at that stage where I've got a lot of experience and I can handle things an awful lot better. We work well together as a team. It's great for Alan to have a Cheltenham winner - there's no better man to do the job when he's got the right ammunition, and hopefully we can build on this and maybe finish the season with a flurry."

Asked what else he has to look forward to this week, he replied: "I have two good rides tomorrow - in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, Bakmaj wouldn't have a whole lot to find on the favourite, and Usuel Smurfer in the Glenfarclas Cross Country. I've had about four goes in that race and it hasn't quite worked out yet, but it might do tomorrow."

Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase Previous Results

2016-WINNER-BALLYALTON 9-11-10 Owner-John Westwood; Trainer-Ian Williams; Jockey-Brian Hughes; SP-12/1
2ND-Bouvreuil 5-11-08 Owner-Chris Giles & Potensis Bloodstock Ltd; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-14/1
3RD-Double Shuffle 6-11-08 Owner-Crossed Fingers Partnership; Trainer-Tom George; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-8/1
4TH-Bridgets Pet 9-11-05 Owner-Barry Connell; Trainer-Alan Fleming IRE; Jockey-Shane Shortall; SP-33/1
20 ran, Time-5m 8.70s, Dist-½, 4½, 2½ 3/1 Fav Aloomomo (6th)

2015-WINNER-IRISH CAVALIER 6-11-07 Owner-Andrew McIver; Trainer-Rebecca Curtis; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-11/1
2ND-Thomas Crapper 8-11-04 Owner-apis.uk.com; Trainer-Robin Dickin; Jockey-Charlie Poste; SP-6/1 Fav
3RD-Generous Ransom 7-11-06 Owner-Sir Christopher & Lady Wates; Trainer-Nick Gifford; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-8/1
4TH-Horizontal Speed 7-11-07 Owner-Favourites Racing Ltd; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-12/1
20 ran, Time-5m 6.70s, Dist-2½, ½, nk

2014-WINNER-PRESENT VIEW 6-11-07 Owner-Sir Chips Keswick; Trainer-Jamie Snowden; Jockey-Brendan Powell; SP-8/1
2ND-Attaglance 8-11-07 Owner-Mrs H Young, G Eifert, R Snyder; Trainer-Malcolm Jefferson; Jockey-Brian Hughes; SP-10/1
3RD-Pendra 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Charlie Longsdon; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-8/1
4TH-Ahyaknowyerself 8-11-05 Owner-G Carstairs & R Marker; Trainer-Dr Richard Newland; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-33/1
19 ran, Time- 5m 0.10s, Dist-½, 3, ½ 13/2 Jt Favs Art Of Logistics (13th) & Ericht (PU)

2013-WINNER-RAJDHANI EXPRESS 6-11-07 Owner-Robert Waley-Cohen; Trainer Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mr Sam Waley-Cohen;
SP-16/1
2ND-Ackertac 8-11-09 Owner- Mark Aspey & Steve Catton; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-66/1
3RD-Ohio Gold 7-11-06 Owner-P M Warren; Trainer-Colin Tizzard; Jockey-Joe Tizzard; SP-16/1
4TH-Shangani 7-11-09 Owner-The Bellamy Partnership; Trainer-Venetia Williams; Jockey-Aidan Coleman; SP-6/1
20 ran, Time- 5m 16.00s, Dist-nk, 9, 1¾ 9/2 Fav Colour Squadron (5th)

2012-WINNER-HUNT BALL 7-12-00 Owner-Anthony Knott; Trainer-Keiran Burke; Jockey-Nick Scholfield; SP-13/2 Fav
2ND-White Star Line 8-11-07 Owner-Patsy Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Bryan Cooper; SP-14/1
3RD-Owen Glendower 7-11-09 Owner-The Ten From Seven; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Andrew Tinkler; SP-33/1
4TH-Battle Group 7-11-10 Owner-Jolly Boys Outing; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Tom Scudamore; SP-33/1
20 ran, Time-5m 5.90s, Dist-8, 2, 1

2011-WINNER-DIVERS 7-11-04 Owner-The DPRP Divers Partnership; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-7/1
2ND-Quantitativeeasing 6-11-11 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
3RD-Tullamore Dew 9-11-11 Owner-Give Every Man His Due; Trainer-Nick Gifford; Jockey-Liam Treadwell; SP-13/2
4TH-Vino Griego 6-11-05 Owner-C E Stedman; Trainer-Gary Moore; Jockey-Jamie Moore; SP-20/1
20 ran, Time 5m 7.50s, Dist 2¾, 2, 1¼ 3/1 Fav Definity (5th)

2010-WINNER-COPPER BLEU 8-11-01 Owner-Alan Peterson; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-12/1
2ND-Othermix 6-11-00 Owner-Power Panels Electrical Systems Ltd; Trainer-Tom George; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-50/1
3RD-The Midnight Club 6-11-01 Owner-C C R Racing Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-16/1
4TH-China Rock 7-11-03 Owner-Michael O’Flynn; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Niall Madden; SP-9/1 20 ran, Time-5m 12.50s, Dist-3½ , ½, 3¾ 6/1 Fav Rivaliste (7th)

2009-WINNER-CHAPOTURGEON 5-10-11 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-8/1
2ND-Isn’t That Lucky 6-10-07 Owner-Valda Burke; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Richard McGrath; SP-11/1
3RD-Crescent Island 6-11-02 Owner-Sarah Bays Jill Scott Sarah MacEchern; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-25/1
4TH-Northern Alliance 8-11-04 Owner-Irish Rover Syndicate; Trainer-Tony Martin IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP8/1 20 ran, Time-5m 16.44s, Dist-9, 2¼, 6 15/2 Fav Kia Kaha (10th)

2008-WINNER-FINGER ONTHE PULSE 7-10-12 Owner-Conor Clarkson; Trainer-Tom Taaffe IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-9/1
2ND-Barbers Shop 6-10-13 Owner-The Queen; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-12/1
3RD-Possol 5-10-06 Owner-Neville Statham; Trainer-Henry Daly; Jockey-Mark Bradburne; SP-25/1
4TH-Fleet Street 9-10-12 Owner-Henry Ponsonby; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Andrew Tinkler; SP-66/1 20 ran, Time-5m 10.2s, Dist-nk, 1½, nse

2007-WINNER-L’ANTARTIQUE 7-10-11 Owner-Mary Durkan; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-20/1
2ND-Bob Hall 6-10-09 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-10/1
3RD-Wee Robbie 7-10-13 Owner-P H Betts (Holdings) Ltd; Trainer-Nick Gifford; Jockey-Leighton Aspell; SP-20/1
4TH-Rasharrow 8-10-10 Owner-Ashleybank Investments Limited; Trainer-Len Lungo; Jockey-Keith Mercer; SP-14/1
19 ran, Time-5m 10.70s, Dist-2, 2½, 4 7/2 Fav New Little Bric (7th)

2006-WINNER-REVEILLEZ 7-10-11 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-James Fanshawe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-9/2 Fav
2ND-Copsale Lad 9-11-00 Owner-Swallow Partnership; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-8/1
3RD-Tumbling Dice 7-11-01 Owner-Mrs John Donegan; Trainer-Tom Taaffe IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-14/1
4TH-Direct Flight 8-10-04 Owner-Top Flight; Trainer-Noel Chance; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-25/1
18 ran, Time-5m 05.00s, Dist-1.25, 9, shd

2005-WINNER-KING HARALD 7-10-04 Owner-Piers Pottinger & PBJ Partnership; Trainer-Mark Bradstock; Jockey-Mattie Batchelor; SP-9/1
2ND-Lacdoudal 6-11-10 Owner-Carol Skan; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-12/1
3RD-See You Sometime 10-11-03 Owner-J A G Meaden; Trainer-Seamus Mullins; Jockey-Andrew Thornton; SP-12/1
4TH-Sir Oj 8-10-11 Owner-Brian Keenan; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-18/1
19 ran, Time-5m 12.20s, Dist-12, 8, 2 8/1 Fav Captain Corelli (PU)