E-Lites Top Novices' Hurdle
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Grade 2, Aintree 14:15
£60,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 110y, Class 1  
Friday 10th April 2015

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1 Cyrus Darius 8/1
2 Vago Collonges 7/1
3 Qewy 5/1
11 ran Distances: 10l, 1¾l, 10l
TIME 4m 0.10s (slow by 7.10s)

Cyrus Darius bolts up in the E-Lites Top Novices' Hurdle

Cyrus Darius
© Grossick Racing Photography
Cyrus Darius

The E-Lites Top Novices' Hurdle winner Cyrus Darius has his trainer Malcolm Jefferson dreaming of big things ahead in the chasing ranks after the six-year-old posted an impressive 10-length victory at Aintree.

The Yorkshire-based trainer said: "It's always hard to chuck them in at the deep end but yesterday morning when I looked at what was going to run, I thought that there's always a chance that the favourite might not run to his form and then the rest of them were much of a muchness on ratings.

"I rang Brian [Hughes, jockey] and he was thinking we should go to Perth but I thought 'Bugger it', as this was going to be his last run of the season anyhow. He's going to grass now so I thought we'd take our chance."

Asked of his thoughts for what the future holds for Cyrus Darius, who earned a quote of 20/1 for next year's Arkle Trophy following his Liverpool rout, Jefferson added: "I dream about all sorts of things but often they end up as nightmares!

"So we'll just leave him at grass and see what next season brings - he'll go novice chasing next season. He's just a lovely big horse who travels really well. I'd love to have a good two-mile chaser and he could be the one. He's very nimble for a big horse and we've schooled him over fences."

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E-Lites Top Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2)
£60,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 110y, Class 1
11 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Cyrus Darius 8/1 B Hughes
J M Jefferson 6
2nd 10 Vago Collonges (FR) 7/1 Sam Twiston-Davies
P F Nicholls 6
3rd Qewy (IRE) 5/1 A P McCoy
J P Ferguson 5
4th 10 Glingerburn (IRE) 7/4f B P Harding
N G Richards 7
5th Cardinal Walter (IRE) 8/1 A Tinkler
N J Henderson 6
6th 30 Jolly's Cracked It (FR) 8/1 N D Fehily
H Fry 6
7th 10 Montdragon (FR) 50/1 R P McLernon
Jonjo O'Neill 5
8th 17 Trader Jack 100/1 Stephen Craine
D Flood 6
9th 91 Dabadiyan (IRE) 66/1 Joshua Moore
G L Moore 5
F Endless Credit (IRE) 25/1 Joe Colliver
Micky Hammond 5
UR Commissioned (IRE) 10/1 R Johnson
J P Ferguson 5

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Jockey Brian Hughes rode his second winner at the 2015 Crabbie's Grand National Festival when Cyrus Darius landed the E-Lites Top Novices' Hurdle.

The 8/1 winner, who is trained by Malcolm Jefferson at Malton in Yorkshire, added to Hughes' triumph yesterday on 33/1 shot Surf And Turf in the Betfred Red Rum Handicap Chase.

Hughes, who is aiming for a maiden century of winners in one season and who took his tally to 99 with today's success, said of Cyrus Darius: "He's won two races in the North in a hack canter, and while we were umming and ahhing about coming here Malcolm made a good shout and it's paid off. He's a big, strapping horse and will make a better chaser we hope.

"He jumped and travelled well today, and while it took me a bit of time to settle him it's a big atmosphere for young horses and he was just a bit keen. Once he settled and got into a rhythm I was confident he would run well and from turning in I realised they were going to struggle to get by me.

"He's not a horse that gets worked up, but he's raw and it's a warm day. On the whole, considering it was only his third run over hurdles, he coped with it well and there's a lot of improvement in him.

"We've already schooled him over fences and he coped fine. I should think we will give him another pop [over fences] before he goes out for summer grass."


Trainer Nicky Richards was not too unhappy with the performance of 7/4 favourite Glingerburn, who finished fourth behind Cyrus Darius this afternoon.

The seven-year-old was never jumping with any fluency early in the race and his jockey, Brian Harding, was sending out distress signals a long way from home. The son of King's Theatre was eventually beaten 21 and three quarter lengths.

"He's fine," said Richards.

"He just couldn't get in that rhythm today. I had to miss last season with him and this season I got him in early and he's had a nice, long, steady preparation.

"I'm not making excuses about anything, I may not have won, but I'd say he was over the top there. He's still a good horse though - as is the winner."

John Ferguson, trainer of third-placed Qewy, who was beaten 11 and three quarter lengths, said: "We're delighted with the way he ran. We'll give him a good holiday now - he's been on the go for a long time."

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