BetBright #realfansonly Novices' Chase(Registered As The Dipper Novices' Steeple Chase)
|Grade 2, Cheltenham 13:20
£32,000 added 5yo+
2m 4f 166y, Class 1
|Friday 1st January 2016|
1 Seeyouatmidnight 7/2
2 Blaklion 7/1
3 Le Mercurey 12/1
7 ran Distances: 3¼l, 20l, 7l
TIME 5m 31.10s (slow by 28.10s)
Top Notch, Cole Harden and Bobs Worth well beaten in heavy ground. Camping Ground very impressive on his return to hurdles.
Seeyouatmidnight produced a brilliant front-running display to claim top honours in the BetBright #realfansonly Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.
Sandy Thomson's northern raider was a beaten favourite on his chasing debut at Carlisle in November, but put that right at Kelso a month a later to earn himself a step up to Grade Two level in a race better known as the 'Dipper'.
Brian Hughes sent the 7-2 winner straight to the lead from the outset and some prodigious leaps kept up the momentum.
While his rivals one by one started to come under pressure and fall away, Seeyouatmidnight was still trapping along running down the hill, with only Blaklion able to go with him rounding the home turn.
For a moment Blaklion looked like making a real race of it, but a slick jump at the final fence kept Thomson's charge in command and he galloped all the way to the line to score by three and a quarter lengths.
Hughes said: "It was a bold shout by Sandy coming here, but he loves that ground.
"He does go on better ground - he ran a good race in the World Hurdle here. He's a fair horse.
"He does it that hard way. I thought I went a good, even gallop, but he picked up when we turned in.
"He was probably getting a bit lonely in front, but it's a fair performance on his third run over fences.
"He's an out-and-out three-miler."
Thomson said: "We're so lucky to have him. He's an absolute star.
"He just does everything you ask of him and he's jumped brilliantly today.
"I said before dreams could be shattered today, but our dream's still alive.
"He'll go to Wetherby for the Towton Novices' Chase and obviously the RSA is the race I'd love to win (at the Festival).
"That would probably be the first preference. Whether that happens, though, I'm not sure as there are so many different opportunities."
BetBright #realfansonly Novices' Chase (Grade 2)
£32,000 added 5yo+ 2m 4f 166y, Class 1
Going: Heavy (Soft in places)
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Seeyouatmidnight 7/2||B Hughes
|A M Thomson||8|
|2nd||3¼||Blaklion 7/1||Ryan Hatch
|N A Twiston-Davies||7|
|3rd||20||Le Mercurey (FR) 12/1||Sam Twiston-Davies
|P F Nicholls||6|
|4th||7||Volnay De Thaix (FR) 9/2||Nico de Boinville
|N J Henderson||7|
|5th||1¾||Three Musketeers (IRE) 3/1f||Harry Skelton
|6th||43||Minella Rocco (IRE) 10/1||B J Geraghty
|PU||Aubusson (FR) 9/2||Lizzie Kelly