Betfred Challow Novices' Hurdle
Grade 1, Newbury 15:00
£40,000 added, 4yo plus,
2m 4f 118y, Class 1  
Saturday 30th December 2017

1 Poetic Rhythm 15/8F
2 Mulcahys Hill 16/1
3 Kilbricken Storm 11/4
6 ran Distances: shd, 23l, 2½l
Time: 5m 24.30s (slow by 35.30s

Poetic Rhythm
© Racehorse Photos
Poetic Rhythm
The day's feature saw a tremendous finish, as the well-backed 15/8 favourite Poetic Rhythm (Fergal O'Brien/Paddy Brennan) held off the rallying Mulcahys Hill (Warren Greatrex/Adrian Heskin, 16/1) by a short-head.
Mulcahys Hill raced in second before leading on the far side of the course. He went clear early in the straight, but Poetic Rhythm came with a good run to challenge at the last and led on the run-in but had to battle strongly close home to hold on. The pair finished clear in the extended two and a half mile race.
It was a first Grade One victory for Gloucestershire-based trainer Fergal O'Brien who said: "That means the world - it is brilliant for everybody.
"To get that Grade One was a bit of a monkey off my back and a relief. We have had a good couple of seasons. Paddy knew what he was going to do with the horse today.
"Three weeks ago Poetic Rhythm was at the vet's with a bit of colic, but if you want to pick one horse out to go to war with he is your boy. He never ever lets us down, he is so tough, though we have let him down a couple of time by putting him in the wrong races.
"It is a fantastic win - it was two good horses fighting out the finish. I couldn't watch from the last hurdle. The ground did not help today and we will be aiming him at the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. 
"He won't run again in between. We will freshen him and give him a nice break. We have a great team of people at the yard and Chris (Coley - head of the Yes No Wait Sorries Partnership), who bought this horse for £30,000 at Cheltenham Sales two years ago, has backed me to the hilt. We had to give the horse time but he has rewarded us."

Betfred Challow Novices' Hurdle
£40,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 4f 118y, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Heavy

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Poetic Rhythm (IRE) 15/8f P J Brennan
F O'Brien 6
2nd s.h Mulcahys Hill (IRE) 16/1 A P Heskin
W Greatrex 5
3rd 23 Kilbricken Storm (IRE) 11/4 Harry Cobden
C L Tizzard 6
4th Way Back Then (IRE) 7/1 Nico de Boinville
B Pauling 6
5th 30 Dans Le Vent (FR) 16/1 G Sheehan
Jamie Snowden 4
PU Dame Rose (FR) 3/1 Harry Skelton
Richard Hobson 4