|Grade 2, Taunton 14:45
2m 5f 150y, Class 1
|Thursday 14th December 2017|
1 Top Notch 4/9F
2 Josses Hill 9/1
3 Ptit Zig 11/4
4 ran NR: Max Ward Distances: 3¼l, 4½l, 5l
Time: 5m 43.30s (slow by 22.30s)
Top Notch eases clear to win in good style
Top Notch brushed through the last fence, but nothing could stop him and jockey Daryl Jacob from beating stablemate Josses Hill and claiming another nice prize over fences.
The Grade Two contest was saved from Huntingdon's abandoned card on Sunday and Nicky Henderson was certainly pleased that was the case.
Henderson was responsible for two of only four starters, with Josses Hill, the winner 12 months ago, taking the field along.
Paul Nicholls' Ptit Zig moved up to challenge four out, but Daryl Jacob always looked to have matters under control on the 4-9 favourite.
The diminutive Top Notch jumped into a narrow advantage at the second-last and while he did not jump the final fence completely cleanly, he was not hard ridden to comfortably beat his stablemate.
Henderson quipped: "If there was a poll I would be surprised if he didn't come out Top Notch!"
"I was delighted with both of them, Josses Hill jumped beautifully out in front. The ground was probably sticky enough for both, but we have got the race in and got the job done.
"He had come on nicely from Ascot and that was nice for him today. That was just perfect.
"The Ascot Chase is probably the obvious one. I think a good, solid two and a half (miles) is a good trip for him. He proved at Ascot the other day it was a nice place for him.
"Alan Spence (owner of Josses Hill) has been a great sport and I said 'come on, we've got to go'. He has finished second and he has run a great race.
"Josses Hill could drop back to two for the Desert Orchid at Kempton, possibly, as he has to go right-handed."
Henderson continued: "If it wasn't for Bristol De Mai (in same ownership) I would have been gagging to have a go at the King George VI Chase and have a look at it. You can understand why we are not going to (Bristol De Mai is on course for £1million Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown bonus) and Ascot would appear the obvious race for him.
"When he was a juvenile over hurdles, Guillaume Macaire said make the most of this horse as there is no improvement in him only because he lacks that scope.
"When we went jumping fences last season we went to Plumpton and Warwick in the two-horse race and all he needed to do was grow into a steeplechaser. Not because he has grown in size, but because he has grown in confidence and maturity and just because he is a nice person."
Betfred Peterborough Chase
£50,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 5f 150y, Class 1
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Top Notch (FR) 4/9f||D A Jacob
|N J Henderson||6|
|2nd||3¼||Josses Hill (IRE) 9/1||Nico de Boinville
|N J Henderson||9|
|3rd||4½||Ptit Zig (FR) 11/4||Harry Cobden
|P F Nicholls||8|
|4th||5||Vaniteux (FR) 33/1||T Scudamore
|NR||Max Ward (IRE)||A P Heskin
|T R George||8|