CF Roberts 25 Years Of Sponsorship Handicap Chase
|Handicap, Cheltenham 14:30
3m 2f, Grade 3
|Friday 14th December 2018
1 Cogry 9/1
Rolling Dylan 16/1
9 ran Distances: hd, nk, 15l
Time: 6m 35.80s (slow by 9.80s
Cogry battles back to deny Singlefarmpayment
The most valuable race of the afternoon, the £60,000 CF Roberts 25 Years Of Sponsorship Handicap Chase, saw Cogry
(Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies,10st 12lb) come out on a top in a thrilling three-way finish. The nine-year-old was recording his third success at the Home of Jump Racing.
After making the running, Cogry was joined after the last by Singlefarmpayment (Tom George/Noel Fehily, 11st 5lb) on his inside who went narrowly ahead, with Rolling Dylan (Philip Hobbs/Tom O’Brien, 10st 13lb) also in close pursuit on his outside. Cogry rallied gamely in the shadows of the post to score by a head from Singlefarmpayment with Rolling Dylan a further neck away in third.
Nigel Twiston-Davies said: “It has been lovely this season having Sam back home again.
“Sam and Cogry were superb the whole way round and they had to be good horses to keep up with them.
“I think we are learning at long last that Cogry is probably better on better ground.
“We will definitely be back here for The Festival, in the Ultima [Handicap Chase], and he could have Grand National entry now. In the past, he has not been rated high enough but he would be nudging on the bottom now.”
Sam Twiston-Davies added: “Cogry was running off a career-high mark (139) – he has been this high before and has always struggled. He got into a lovely rhythm today and it’s always great to be in front where it matters.
“He was very accurate with his jumping and fair play to Nigel. I was a bit sceptical about coming here today as there are a lot of long-distance chases around but he was quite keen on coming here.”
Graham Jelley, who owns Cogry in partnership with his wife Alison, said: “That was brilliant. He has won here twice before but one time we weren’t here and the other time, it was so rainy and cold on New Year’s Day that we were all stuck in the tent.
“He jumped fantastically today. He always goes a bit under the radar because he is one of Nige’s but he has been great for us.
“My wife Alison has loved Cogry since the day she saw him as a four-year-old. I told her Nige had a nice horse running in a bumper at Southwell and she said that we didn’t want another horse.
“Southwell is just down the road from us so I managed to persuade her to go and, as soon as she saw Cogry in the parade ring, she said that we were having him.”
Tom George said of runner-up: “Singlefarmpayment doesn’t actually know he hasn’t won. Maybe that’s what the problem is because he is frightfully pleased with himself.
“Noel Fehily has ridden him the last twice and thinks the extra two furlongs is stretching him. Noel isn’t always right but, more often than not, he is.
“The problem is that there isn’t a three-mile handicap chase for him around here, it’s either three miles, one [furlong] or three miles, two [furlongs].
“But he has been a great horse for us and I am sure his day will come. As the owners have said, he is a great horse to own because he gives you that thrill every time.”
December Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
£60,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 2f, Class 1
|N A Twiston-Davies
||N D Fehily
|T R George
||Rolling Dylan (IRE) 16/1
||T J O'Brien
|P J Hobbs
||Theatre Territory (IRE) 7/2f
||Mr S Waley-Cohen (3)
||Doing Fine (IRE) 12/1
||R T Dunne
|N P Mulholland
||Rock The Kasbah (IRE) 4/1
|P J Hobbs
||Coo Star Sivola (FR) 7/1
||Lizzie Kelly (3)
||El Bandit (IRE) 9/1
|P F Nicholls
||Kerrow (IRE) 10/1