Randox Health Handicap Chase
Cheltenham 15:10
£60,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m, Class 2    
Saturday 27th October 2018

1 Modus 4/1
2 Duke Of Navan 20/1
3 Foxtail Hill 3/1F
7 ran Distances: hd, 9l, 2l
Time: 3m 57.40s (slow by 5.40s)

Modus wins it by a hair over Duke Of Navan

© Racehorse Photos

Modus  had been highly tried during his first season over fences, including when finishing eighth in the G1 JLT Novices' Chase in March, and the 4/1 shot made a winning handicap chase debut for Paul Nicholls when getting up on the line in a thrilling finish.
Foxtail Hill (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies), sent off the 3/1 favourite to follow up his victory in the same race 12 months ago, cut out the running until being headed by Modus and 20/1 outsider Duke Of Navan (Nicky Richards/Ryan Day) at the penultimate fence. 
Duke Of Navan came to challenge after the last and looked to have the measure of his rival halfway up the hill, only for Modus to rally strongly under Barry Geraghty for a head verdict as the first two finished nine lengths clear of Foxtail Hill. 
Paul Nicholls commented: "Modus did well early on last season but then lost his way. Barry gave him a great ride and he jumped well today, although he probably wants a bit further. 
"He got a bit tight at the last but galloped all the way to the line and the runner-up is a good horse.
"Modus is beginning to relax and improve. That will have done him good and we might go a bit further with him now. There are lots of options and we will find somewhere for him."
Barry Geraghty said: "I thought I was beaten until the last 50 yards - I missed the last a little bit, which didn't help, but Modus really battled. 

"I knew that he would stay because he won the Lanzarote Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs, but his jumping was better today. He was very long at the third-last and caught the last as he hasn't mastered the technique perfectly yet, but he battled well. 
"He is growing up, he's not as keen as he was so he is probably finishing his races better. He was very good over fences last season at Kempton but then he wasn't as good at Cheltenham and Aintree afterwards.
"That was a nice handicap, but he has won by a head, so I think he will be going the handicap route this season. It's a nice prize and a good race to win."

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Randox Health Handicap Chase
£60,000.00 added, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 2
7 ran
Going: Good

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Modus 4/1 B J Geraghty
P F Nicholls 8
2nd hd Duke Of Navan (IRE) 20/1 Ryan Day (3)
N G Richards 10
3rd 9 Foxtail Hill (IRE) 3/1f Sam Twiston-Davies
N A Twiston-Davies 9
4th 2 Lillington (IRE) 6/1 T Scudamore
C L Tizzard 6
5th 8 Tommy Silver (FR) 4/1 H Cobden
P F Nicholls 6
6th 15 Bigmartre (FR) 4/1 Harry Bannister
H Whittington 7
PU Vosne Romanee 10/1 Sean Bowen
Dr R D P Newland 7