Ballymore Classic Novices' Hurdle
(Registered As The Classic Novices' Hurdle)
Grade 2, Cheltenham 15:00
£32,000 added, 4yo plus,
2m 4f 110y, Class 1  
Saturday 27th January 2018

1 Santini 4/1
2 Black Op 8/1
3 Aye Aye Charlie 16/1
9 ran Distances: ¾l, 29l, 1¾l
Time: 5m 23.10s (slow by 36.10s)

The G2 £32,000 Ballymore Classic Novices' Hurdle over extended two and a half miles went to Santini (Nicky Henderson/Jeremiah McGrath), who got up in the closing stages to beat Black Op (Tom George/Tom Scudamore, 8/1) three quarters of a length, with 29 lengths back to the third Aye Aye Charlie (Fergal O'Brien/Paddy Brennan).
 
Santini
© Racehorse Photos
Santini
 
Nicky Henderson, after gaining a double on the day, reported: "We took Santini out of Ascot last weekend because we thought that the ground was too soft. 
 
"I said to Richard (Kelvin-Hughes - joint owner) at lunchtime today that it will be softer than Ascot but where do you go? It's going to be the same next week and the week after, and the horses are ready to run. 
 
"He is a lovely big horse but only a big baby and is going to be a lovely chaser. The Albert Bartlett closes next week and he will get an entry, but I think that we are all leaning against it at the moment. I think that he wants another year and to come back as a chaser."
 
The winning rider Jeremiah McGrath added: "I wasn't seeing a stride going down to the last and for a big horse, Santini is very agile. He popped it nicely and has kept the momentum up, thankfully. 
 
"He is a horse for the future. We didn't think that he would cope with the ground today, but his ability has seen him out. He is bred to be a three-miler so it is onwards and upwards.
 
"I have ridden him a few times on the grass gallops at home and you think that you are getting to the bottom of the barrel with him but he just keeps finding. He will be a proper stayer in time. 
 
"I think he will jump and travel better on proper spring ground and will hopefully be a horse to be reckoned with."

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Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
(Registered As The Classic Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 2)
£32,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 4f 56y, Class 1
9 ran
Going: Heavy

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Santini 4/1 J McGrath
11-5
N J Henderson 6
2nd ¾ Black Op (IRE) 8/1 T Scudamore
11-5
T R George 7
3rd 29 Aye Aye Charlie 16/1 P J Brennan
11-5
F O'Brien 6
4th Mulcahys Hill (IRE) 11/4f A P Heskin
11-5
W Greatrex 6
5th Slate House (IRE) 9/1 Harry Cobden
11-10
C L Tizzard 6
6th 14 Tikkanbar (IRE) 6/1 N D Fehily
11-10
N P Mulholland 7
7th 9 Pacific De Baune (FR) 4/1 Nico de Boinville
11-5
N J Henderson 5
PU Fairmount 50/1 R Johnson
11-5
M Keighley 7
F De Rasher Counter 20/1 Nick Scholfield
11-5
Miss E C Lavelle 6

Betway Horse Racing €50 free best odds guaranteed

Year Horse Owner Trainer Weight Jockey SP

2000 Monsignor Malcolm Denmark Mark Pitman 6-11-12 Norman Williamson 1/2 f
2001 Indian Scout Indian Scout Partnership Ben De Haan 6-11-06 Liam Cummins 2/1
2002 Keen Leader Adair Catherwood Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-05 Liam Cooper 10/11 f
2003 Iris’s Gift Robert Lester Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-09 Barry Geraghty 1/3 f
2004 Abandoned
2005 Ambobo Sean Mulryan Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR 5-11-12 Barry Geraghty 14/1
2006 Abandoned
2007 Wichita Lineman J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-12 Tony McCoy Evens f
2008 Aigle D’Or J P McManus Nicky Henderson 5-11-09 Marcus Foley 7/4 f
2009 Diamond Harry Paul Duffy/Diamond Partnership Nick Williams 6-11-12 Timmy Murphy 8/15 f
2010 Restless Harry Richard Whitehead Robin Dickin 6-11-12 Henry Oliver 7/2
2011 Bobs Worth The Not Afraid Partnership Nicky Henderson 6-11-12 Barry Geraghty 7/2
2012 Batonnier Raymond Mould Alan King 6-11-05 Wayne Hutchinson 12/1
2013 At Fishers Cross J P McManus Rebecca Curtis 6-11-12 A P McCoy 13/2
2014 Red Sherlock The Johnson Family David Pipe 5-11-09 Tom Scudamore 9/4
2015 Ordo Ab Chao A Marsh Alan King 6-11-09 Wayne Hutchinson 16/1
2016 Yanworth J P McManus Alan King 6-11-12 Barry Geraghty 2/1f
2017 Wholestone Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nigel Twiston-Davies 6-11-10 Daryl Jacob 11/4 f