JLT Melling Chase
Grade 1, Aintree 15:25
£200,000 added,
5yo plus,
2m 3f 200y, Class 1   
Friday 7th April 2017

1 Fox Norton 4/1
2 Sub Lieutenant 100/30
3 Traffic Fluide 14/1
9 ran Distances: 6l, 11l, ½l
Time: 4m 58.00s (slow by 10.00s)

We think Robbie Power might be riding for Team Tizzard more often...

Fox Norton
© Racehorse Photos
Fox Norton

The Colin Tizzard-trained 4/1 shot Fox Norton, was an impressive six-length winner of the G1 JLT Melling Chase at Aintree.
 
Travelling ominously well entering the home straight under Robbie Power, the seven-year-old son of Lando produced a superb leap at the final fence and showed a potent turn of foot to register a decisive success. 
 
Henry de Bromhead's Sub Lieutenant (10/3 favourite) was second, with a further 11 lengths back to Gary Moore's Traffic Fluide (14/1) in third.
 
Tizzard, Power and owners Alan & Ann Potts were registering an 84/1 double on the day following Pingshou's victory in the G1 Crabbie's Top Novices' Hurdle.
 
A head second in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Tizzard was delighted with the gelding's performance when stepped up in trip.
 
Tizzard said: "It is lovely it is happening. We had a quiet old time in the run up to Cheltenham and then it was hard work at Cheltenham. We are in good form again.
 
"Fox Norton could have won the Champion Chase - there wasn't much in it at the line. He has got better for the trip today. 
 
"We thought about running him in the Ryanair. It took him all over two miles to get into third in last year's Arkle and he is not very fast at home. Honestly, being nearly a champion two-miler you would think he will be fast but he is not.
 
"I think he could make up into a King George horse. He stayed that trip today and Joe [Tizzard, assistant trainer] and Robbie both think he is one we could go to the King George with."
 
Winning owner Alan Potts said: "Everything is going good. He should have won the Champion Chase and he didn't get up by a head. We think he will get a longer trip than this.
 
"Robbie Power who I have made our number on jockey, he thinks he will comfortably get three miles so we will have to see."
 
Betway made Fox Norton a 16/1 chance for the King George and a 10/1 shot for both the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Ryanair Chase at next year's Cheltenham Festival.

Betfred Melling Chase
£200,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 3f 200y, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Good

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Fox Norton (FR) 4/1 R M Power
11-7
C L Tizzard 7
2nd 6 Sub Lieutenant (IRE) 10/3f B J Cooper
11-7
H de Bromhead 8
3rd 11 Traffic Fluide (FR) 14/1 Joshua Moore
11-7
G L Moore 7
4th ½ Kylemore Lough 16/1 J E Moore
11-7
Kerry Lee 8
5th 6 God's Own (IRE) 7/2 A P Heskin
11-7
T R George 9
6th 1 Top Gamble (IRE) 10/1 D N Russell
11-7
Kerry Lee 9
7th 8 Josses Hill (IRE) 15/2 Nico de Boinville
11-7
N J Henderson 9
8th 35 Uxizandre (FR) 8/1 B J Geraghty
11-7
A King 9
PU Royal Regatta (IRE) 25/1 R Johnson
11-7
P J Hobbs 9

LIEUTENANT SETS HIS CAP AT PUNCHESTOWN
 
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned eight-year-old Sub Lieutenant finished second behind Fox Norton.
 
Trainer Henry De Bromhead said: "I'm delighted with him. It was a super run and he was just beaten by a quicker horse on the day, sadly. He will most likely go to Punchestown next, but I'm not sure whether he will run over two miles or three."
 
NO EXCUSES FOR LIEUTENANT
 
Jockey Bryan Cooper could offer no excuses after Sub Lieutenant who has now finished second in three Grade Ones this season (in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival behind Un De Sceaux and the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase behind Djakadam). Cooper thought that the Henry De Bromhead-trained gelding was beaten by a better horse on the day.
 
"He's run well - he's a consistent horse but was just beaten by a better horse today," said the jockey. "There might be some improvement if we step him up in trip next season - he's certainly worth a go at further."

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Melling Chase - Previous Winners

2016 God's Own

2015 Don Cossack
2014 Boston Bob
2013 Sprinter Sacre
Caroline Mould Nicky Henderson 07-11-10 Barry Geraghty 1/3F
2012 Finian’s Rainbow Michael Buckley Nicky Henderson 09-11-10 Barry Geraghty 13/8F
2011 Master Minded Clive Smith Paul Nicholls 08-11-10 Ruby Walsh 11/2

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