Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase
|(Registered as the Game Spirit Chase)
Grade 2 Handicap, Newbury 15:00
£60,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus,
2m 92yds, Class 1
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1 Funambule Sivola 9/4
2 Sceau Royal 2/1F
3 Hitman 85/40
4 ran NR: Editeur Du Gite Distances: 2l, 2¼l, 7½l
Time: 4m 1.35s (slow by 3.35s)
Funambule Sivola made most of the running to continue the golden run of Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch.
The pair can do little wrong at present and having earned plenty of prize money at Lingfield’s Winter Million meeting Williams provided Deutsch with his first Grade One win last weekend, when L’Homme Presse cruised to victory in the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown.
With Gary Moore’s Editeur Du Gite pulled out of the Newbury feature not long after declarations on Thursday, the way was left clear for Funambule Sivola to dictate matters in front.
The diminutive seven-year-old might not get very high at his fences, but one thing he does do is get to the other side quickly.
Last year’s winner Sceau Royal adopted his usual stalking role under new pilot James Bowen, only to get in tight to the fourth-last and always be on the back foot thereafter.
Hitman travelled smoothly for a long way and looked a threat running to two out, but Funambule Sivola never missed a beat up the home straight and it was left to Sceau Royal to chase him home, beaten two lengths.
Williams said: “It was really thrilling. As you can see he is a small horse, but such an intelligent jumper. Not only is he intelligent, he is so quick with it.
“I thought with the ground drying, which it obviously was going to do all week, even though it was going against Royale Pagaille (in the Denman Chase), this fellow was going to handle it. This fellow is not short of pace.
“For the time being, he is a two-miler. It is quite clear the route he should take for the immediate future.
“The Queen Mother Champion Chase is to be discussed, but I don’t think it will be a long discussion!
“I will talk to the owners, but yes. A few horses have got close to Shishkin, only for Shishkin to look behind him and scoot away at the last.
“Today was a stronger performance. I try to avoid having any expectations, but he has fulfilled hopes, let’s put it that way.”
Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase
(Grade 2) £60,000 guaranteed,
5yo plus, 2m 92y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER
1 Funambule Sivola 7 11-0 Venetia Williams Charlie Deutsch 9/4
2 2 Sceau Royal 10 11-6 Alan King James Bowen 2/1F
3 2¼ Hitman 6 11-0 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 85/40
4 7½ Sky Pirate t 28 D 9 11-4 Jonjo O'Neill Nick Scholfield 8/1
NR Editeur Du Gite 8 11-4 Gary Moore NON-RUNNER
Betfair Exchange Chase – Roll of Honour
YEAR WINNER TRAINER JOCKEY AGE/WEIGHT SP RAN
2021 SCEAU ROYAL Alan King Daryl Jacob 9-11-00 3/1F 6
2020 ALTIOR Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 10-11-06 1/3F 6
2019 Abandoned - Equine Flu scare
2018 ALTIOR NJ Henderson Nico de Boinville 08-11-06 1/3F 3
2017 ALTIOR NJ Henderson Nico de Boinville 07-11-05 30/100F 4
2016 TOP GAMBLE Kerry Lee Richard Johnson 08-11-05 10/11F 4
2015 MR MOLE Paul Nicholls A P McCoy 07-11-06 7/2 5
2014 MODULE Tom George Paddy Brennan 07-11-02 11/8F 4
2013 WISHFULL THINKING Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 10-11-06 4/1 6
2012 SPRINTER SACRE Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 06-11-05 2/5F 6
2011 FRENCH OPERA Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 08-11-05 7/2 7
2010 MASTER MINDED Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-10 8/13F 5
2009 Abandoned - Snow
2008 MASTER MINDED Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 05-11-04 7/4 6
2007 WELL CHIEF David Pipe Timmy Murphy 08-11-00 5/2 8
*2006 DON’T BE SHY Martin Pipe Timmy Murphy 05-10-11 5/4F 4
2005 AZERTYUIOP Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 08-11-10 11/10F 6
2004 AZERTYUIOP Paul Nicholls Ruby Walsh 07-11-05 4/11F 6
2003 KADARANN Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard 06-11-04 5/1 5
2002 LADY CRICKET Martin Pipe A P McCoy 08-11-01 15/8 7
2001 FUNCTION DREAM Mary Reveley Anthony Ross 09-11-03 7/4 6
2000 FLAGSHIP UBERALLES Paul Nicholls Joe Tizzard 06-11-13 1/4F 3
1999 CELIBATE Charlie Mann Mick Fitzgerald 08-11-03 7/2 6
1998 ASK TOM Tom Tate Russ Garritty 09-11-10 13/8F 4
1997 DOUBLE SYMPHONY Charlie Brooks Jamie Osborne 09-10-12 4/5F 3
1996 VIKING FLAGSHIP David Nicholson Adrian Maguire 09-11-10 5/2 6
1995 NAKIR Simon Christian Jamie Osborne 07-11-10 5/2 3
1994 VIKING FLAGSHIP David Nicholson Adrian Maguire 07-11-10 3/1 5
1993 WATERLOO BOY David Nicholson Richard Dunwoody 10-11-07 9/4 5
1992 WATERLOO BOY David Nicholson Richard Dunwoody 09-11-10 10/11F 6
*Run at Lingfield Park after Newbury was abandoned because of frost