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.
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
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|