Racing Post Arkle Trial
(Registered As The November Novices' Chase)
Grade 2, Cheltenham 13:35
£32,000 added,
4yo plus, 1m 7f 199yds, Class 1 
Sunday 15th November 2015

1 Garde La Victoire 8/15F
2 Fox Norton 11/2
3 Calipto 4/1
NR: El Namoose, The Grey Taylor (IRE)
4 ran Distances: 2½l, ½l, 3¼l
TIME 4m 3.70s (slow by 11.70s)

Garde La Victoire asserts himself up the run-in to beat Fox Norton in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial

Garde La Victoire
© Racehorse Photos

Garde La Victoire

The winner remains unbeaten over fences with a gutsy win in the Grade 2 novices' chase at Cheltenham

Garde La Victoire justified his place as the 8/15 favourite when winning by two and a half lengths from Fox Norton for Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson.

The French-bred six-year-old has now won both his starts over fences. He took the StanJames.com Greatwood Hurdle on this day in 2014.

Hobbs said: "At least today he had more respect for his fences than he did at Uttoxeter [when winning there on October 30] where he was over-brave and didn't give one or two of them enough respect.

"Today he ran as though he wants further; he probably does, but he'll aim for the Arkle [Racing Post-sponsored two-mile novices' chase championship on March 15], I think.

"I don't have any immediate plans beyond today; it was good to get this one out of the way. There isn't another two-mile novices' chase here until March, I don't think, but I'll have a look and see."

Jockey Noel Fehily could offer no excuses after the Neil Mulholland-trained Fox Norton was beaten into second place.

The 11/2 shot travelled and jumped supremely well under Fehily for the majority of the race but couldn't quite manage to fend off the challenge of the winner as the pair battled up in the hill, eventually going down by two and a half lengths.

Fehily felt that the 4lb penalty that Fox Norton had to give Garde La Victoire was probably the difference in the end.

"He's jumped and travelled superbly," said Fehily.

"I wouldn't say he was outpaced after the last but rather that we were beaten by the better horse giving him 4lb."

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies finished a further half a length back in third on Calipto and felt that the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding would be a lot better over further.

"He's run well but it was hard work for a lot of the race," said the jockey.

"We were outpaced for a lot of the way before staying on again at the end. He needs further really and will be much better over a longer trip."

Coral Sports

Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase
(registered As The November Novices' Chase)
£32,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 199y, Class 1
4 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Garde La Victoire (FR) 8/15f R Johnson
11-2
P J Hobbs 6
2nd Fox Norton (FR) 11/2 N D Fehily
11-6
N P Mulholland 5
3rd ½ Calipto (FR) 4/1 Sam Twiston-Davies
11-2
P F Nicholls 5
4th Dormello Mo (FR) 14/1 Sean Bowen
11-6
P F Nicholls 5
NR El Namoose 16/1 Aidan Coleman
11-2
J P Ferguson 6
NR The Grey Taylor (IRE) 16/1 W Kennedy
11-2
B Ellison 6