Racing Post Novice Chase
Grade 1, Leopardstown 14:55
€75,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 1f, Class 1  
Friday 26th December 2014

1 Clarcam 8/1
2 Ted Veale 25/1
2 Vautour 1/4F
6 ran Distances: 17l, dht, 13l
TIME 4m 36.10s (slow by 30.10s)

Clarcam made the most of a serious mistake from hot favourite Vautour to grab Grade One glory in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

© Caroline Norris

Vautour was a stunning winner of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival and looked every inch a top-class chasing prospect when comfortably seeing off Clarcam on his debut over fences at Navan last month, so it was no surprise to see him sent off the 1-4 favourite to confirm his superiority.

Clarcam (8-1), who had since opened his own chasing account, took the field along down the back straight, with Vautour shadowing him in the hands of Paul Townend - until the pivotal moment came five fences from home.

Vautour made a shuddering error that left him with his nose on the turf before being picked up by Townend, and Bryan Cooper sensibly took the initiative, sensing an upset was on the cards.

Clarcam quickly opened up a break on the chasing pack and was clear rounding the home turn before winging the final fence to seal his wide-margin victory. Vautour, unable to recover from his mishap, dead-heated for second with Ted Veale.

RaceBets cut Clarcam to 14-1 from 25-1 for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March.

Winning trainer Gordon Elliott said: "It's great for Bryan as this is the horse he broke his leg on at Cheltenham. I know Vautour made mistakes but my horse didn't just win a length or two - he destroyed them.

"We'll look at coming back here for the (Irish) Arkle and see what happens then."

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Free Racing Tips

The Racing Post Novice Steeplechase
2m 1f, Race Value: €85,000, Grade 1
6 ran
Going: Yielding, Yielding to Soft in places

  Dist Horse / Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Clarcam (FR) 8/1
B J Cooper
11-1 G Elliott 4
2nd 17 Ted Veale (IRE) 25/1
A P Heskin
11-12 A J Martin 7
2nd d.h Vautour (FR) 1/4f
P Townend
11-12 W P Mullins 5
4th 13 Real Steel (IRE) 8/1
B T O'Connell
11-12 M F Morris 6
5th 84 Mr Fiftyone (IRE) 33/1
R M Power
11-12 Mrs J Harrington 5
F Chancol (FR) 12/1
P Carberry
11-12 N Meade 5