StanJames.com International Hurdle
|Grade 2, Cheltenham 15:00
2m 179y, Class 1
|Saturday 12th December 2015|
1 Old Guard 7/1
2 Sempre Medici 5/1
3 Hargam 8/1
6 ran Distances: 1l, nk, 4½l
TIME 4m 12.80s (slow by 18.30s)
Peace And Co is last as Old Guard, Paul Nicholls & Sam Twiston-Davies win a thriller from Sempre Medici
Old Guard continued his progress when springing a minor surprise at Cheltenham's International meeting.
After winning two handicaps on the course this season, the Paul Nicholls-trained four-year-old took the leap up to Grade Two company in his stride.
Peace And Co, last season's unbeaten Triumph Hurdle hero, faded in the closing stages after running far too free and pulling his way to the front after two flights. The 4-5 favourite was well beaten in the end.
That left Old Guard (7-1), Hargam and Sempre Medici to fight out the finish with the first-named battling on valiantly for Sam Twiston-Davies.
He proved a length too strong for Willie Mullins' Irish raider Sempre Medici at the line.
Twiston-Davies, winning his third International in a row after two victories with The New One, said: "He's coming up through the ranks and he's progressing well.
"He travelled very well down to the last and when I asked him for everything after it he was very tough.
"He has all the right attributes, and he stays very well, which you need to do to win a Champion Hurdle."
Stanjames.com International Hurdle (Grade 2)
£130,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 179y, Class 1
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Old Guard 7/1||Sam Twiston-Davies
|P F Nicholls||4|
|2nd||1||Sempre Medici (FR) 5/1||R Walsh
|W P Mullins||5|
|3rd||nk||Hargam (FR) 8/1||B J Geraghty
|N J Henderson||4|
|4th||4½||Melodic Rendezvous 20/1||Nick Scholfield
|5th||7||Cheltenian (FR) 10/1||R Johnson
|P J Hobbs||9|
|6th||8||Peace And Co (FR) 4/5f||D A Jacob
|N J Henderson||4|