Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase
Cheltenham 14:40
£35,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 7f, Class 2  
Friday 12th December 2014

1 Any Currency 8/1
2 Quantitativeeasing 16/1
3 Carruthers 11/1
12 ran Distances: 12l, 26l, 2l
TIME 8m 23.20s (slow by 19.20s)

Any Currency brings up a fantastic Martin Keighley double with Aidan Coleman riding the winner of the Glenfarclas Cross-Country Handicap.

Any Currency
© Racehorse Photos
Any Currency

Local trainer Martin Keighley celebrated a big-race double at Cheltenham when Any Currency followed up Benbane Head's victory in the Majordomo Hospitality Handicap Chase.

The 11-year-old Any Currency (8-1), runner-up at the Festival meeting last season and a regular over the cross country fences, was earning a deserved first visit to the Cheltenham winner's enclosure.

He began to assert four fences from the finish under Aidan Coleman and was too strong up the hill for the patiently ridden Quantitativeeasing, scoring by 12 lengths.

The Willie Mullins-trained Uncle Junior showed little interest from flag-fall, while the favourite, Duke Of Lucca, fell at the halfway stage.

Coleman said: "At the last meeting he ran really well, considering he was a long way out of the weights. He loves it around here.

"With Martin winning the last race, there was extra confidence that the horses were in form. Without being rude, this lad would stay 15 miles and I'm delighted to get a winner on him."

Keighley added: "It's been a great afternoon. The horses haven't been running to form, but they've bounced back, which is fantastic.

"That's the way to ride him. Normally it's a crazy thing to do, kicking on early over four miles, but he stays forever and he gave him a great ride.

"We probably won't even run him again (before the Festival). We'll just come straight back here in March."

Big Shu
© Caroline Norris
Big Shu

There was a sad postscript as former Festival winner Big Shu suffered a fatal injury.

Trained in Ireland by Peter Maher, the nine-year-old won at the track in March of last year and was also third behind Balthazar King at this year's Festival before falling when well fancied in the Grand National at Aintree.

Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase
£35,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 7f, Class 2
12 ran
Going: Good to Soft

Pos Dist Horse / Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Any Currency (IRE) 8/1
Aidan Coleman
11-0 M Keighley 11
2nd 12 Quantitative-easing (IRE) 16/1
M P Walsh
11-0 E Bolger 9
3rd 26 Carruthers 11/1
Nico de Boinville (3)
10-13 M Bradstock 11
4th 2 Pasquini Rouge (FR) 7/1
Jan Faltejsek
10-4 P Quinton 6
5th Imperial Circus (IRE) 8/1
James Best
10-0 P J Hobbs 8
6th Orange Nassau (FR) 14/1
R P Mclernon
10-3 C E Longsdon 8
7th 31 Uncle Junior (IRE) 8/1
Mr P W Mullins
11-7 W P Mullins 13
PU Big Shu (IRE) 6/1
P Carberry
11-12 Peter Maher 9
PU Rare Bob (IRE) 25/1
J Reveley
11-0 P Griffin 12
PU Keep On Track (IRE) 13/2
Mr B M Linehan (7)
10-11 E Bolger 7
UR Duke Of Lucca (IRE) 5/1f
R Johnson
10-13 P J Hobbs 9
UR Full Jack (FR) 20/1
B Hughes
10-0 Miss P Robson 7