Racing Post Arkle Trial
(Registered As The November Novices' Chase)
Grade 2, Cheltenham 13:20
£32,000 added, 4yo plus,
1m 7f 199yds, Class 1  
Sunday 13th November 2016

1 Le Prezien 8/11F
2 Hammersly Lake 12/1
3 Three Stars 11/2
NR: Flying Angel (IRE)
5 ran Distances: 4l, 10l
TIME 4m 2.40s (slow by 10.40s)

Le Prezien justified his odds of 8/11 by winning the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase under Barry Geraghty.

Le Prezien
© Racehorse Photos
Le Prezien

The Paul Nicholls-trained, J P McManus-owned five-year-old was scoring for the first time over fences, and won by four lengths from Hammersly Lake.

Nicholls said: "They weren't really going fast enough in a lot of ways; I hoped they'd go a little bit quicker, but he does stay on strongly and that's exactly what he did. He just got to the horse which fell [the Henry de Bromhead-trained Some Plan, who departed at the second-last fence] at the right time and he stayed on. It's a nice race to win. You don't like to see other horses fall, but he'd probably have won anyway because he just keeps galloping.

"I think a faster-run race and being a bit more positive would suit him. Barry [Geraghty] is learning about him all the time. Over hurdles he did take a little while to warm up, so he's done that well.

"He probably will want further than two miles, to be honest. Over two, he'd probably want the ground very soft. I think if we had a dry spring and the ground was good, over two miles they'd probably rush him off his feet and then jumping might be an issue. I've always thought of him as a horse who wants further. He's a nice horse and it was a nice start."

Jockey Barry Geraghty thought it was a pleasing performance from the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding but thought talk of the Racing Post Arkle Trophy at The Festival might be a little premature at this stage of the five-year-old's career.

"They've gone very quick early and it was a strongly run race," said the jockey.

"His jumping was a little bit indifferent. There were a couple of fences where he brushed through the top and it didn't come easy for him.

"Obviously, his task was a little bit easier when Some Plan came down two out but he'll have learned a lot from it. It was a good performance but I'm not sure whether we'll be talking about the Arkle just yet. He does jump well but, every second or third one, he tends to get in a bit tight or a bit low, so he has a bit to learn.


Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices' Chase
(registered As The November Novices' Chase)
£32,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 199y, Class 1
5 ran
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Le Prezien (FR) 8/11f B J Geraghty
P F Nicholls 5
2nd 4 Hammersly Lake (FR) 12/1 Paul Moloney
N J Henderson 8
3rd 10 Three Stars (IRE) 11/2 R Johnson
H de Bromhead 6
F Some Plan (IRE) 9/2 D J Mullins
H de Bromhead 8
F Mick Thonic (FR) 8/1 Aidan Coleman
C L Tizzard 6
NR Flying Angel (IRE) 12/1 Non Runner
N A Twiston-Davies 5