Read Road To Cheltenham At  Henry VIII Novices' Chase
Grade 1, Sandown 13:50
£50,000 added,
4yo plus,
1m 7f 119y, Class 1  
Saturday 7th December 2019

1 Esprit Du Large 14/1
2 Nube Negra 9/2
3 Grand Sancy 9/2
6 ran NR: Beakstown Distances: 1¾l, 13l, 6l
Time: 3m 59.70s (slow by 13.70s)

Narrowly beaten on his fencing debut at Carlisle in October, the Evan Williams-trained Esprit Du Large went one better at Exeter last month, but faced a big step up in class for this Grade One contest.

Getting weight from his elders, Torpillo was the clear favourite at 13-8, with former Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Summerville Boy, high-class hurdler Grand Sancy and previously-unbeaten chaser Nube Negra rated his chief threats.

However, Esprit Du Large had not read the script, travelling strongly and jumping accurately throughout under Adam Wedge, and he turned for home with only Nube Negra to worry about.

Both horses were slick at the final obstacle and with Esprit Du Large refused to bend on the run-in, passing the post a length and three-quarters to the good. Grand Sancy was a long way back in third, with Torpillo fourth.

Summerville Boy made a bad blunder in the back straight and came to grief at the following water jump.


Henry VIII Novices' Chase (Grade 1)
£50,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 119y, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places

1      Esprit Du Large 5 11-2 Evan Williams Adam Wedge 14/1
Nube Negra 5 11-2 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 9/2
13 Grand Sancy 5 11-2 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 9/2
6 Torpillo 4 10-10 Nigel Twiston-Davies Daryl Jacob 13/8F
14 Return Ticket 6 11-2 Ruth Jefferson Brian Hughes 33/1
F Summerville Boy 7 11-2 Tom George Jonathan Burke 11/4

NR 21P-24 Beakstown 6 11-2 Dan Skelton NON RUNNER