16:20 That’s it from the final day of the Open Meeting, certainly the quietest crowd wise.
Meanwhile from Cheltenham a very good evening.
Some surprise results as well.
We are back with the more “bread and butter” racing tomorrow as we visit Plumpton.
16:16 The betting had the bumper as a two horse race with Alan King’s Lidar sent off the 11/10 favourite and Paul Nicholls Ghizao the 7/2 second best.
However it was Alverstone who set out to make all, accompanied for most of the way by Midnight Tuesday.
By the top of the hill the pair had a good lead with Ghizao and Lidar happily settled in third and fourth.
Coming down the hill Ruby Walsh asked Ghizao to quicken and was soon upsides Alverstone.
Midnight Tuesday was weakening and Lidar was tracking his market rival.
Turning for home Ghizao had opened up a decent lead.
Lidar attempted to make a fight of it but to no avail and it was Ghizao who took the race by six lengths from Lidar.
The front running Alverstone paid the each way money, two lengths behind the favourite.
15:58 Just the bumper to finish off the 2009 Open Meeting, to give it its full name the Griffins Richard Davis Awards Standard Open NH Flat Race over the extended two miles.
We have five non-runners, leaving 8 to face the starter and AP McCoy now rides Red Not Blue.
15:50 Well our second odds-on favourite of the afternoon and the second one to get beaten.
Tell Massini and Berties Dream set off at a decent pace, sharing the lead throughout.
Darryl Jacob settled the favourite Reve de Sivola in third or fourth spot.
Coming down the hill the front pair still had a decent and Jacob was having to push to get the favourite into contention.
Turning for home Tell Massini still had a good lead on his rivals, with the favourite having run into second place.
Coming to the last the bottom weight, receiving 7lbs from the favourite was still well clear and not looking in any danger. Reve de Sivola, by contrast, was under strong pressure and not closing on the leader.
The Cheltenham Hill presented no problems for Tell Massini as he came home a well deserved eight lengths clear of his rivals.
Reve de Sivola had to battle hard to hold a revived challenge from Berties Drean to just hold on to take the runners-up spot.
Rebel Du Marquis, a rebel in the parade ring, was equally unimpressive on the track, making several errors before finally getting rid of Ruby Walsh two out.
15:26 After an almost boring afternoon in the parade ring some action – although not positive – a steh runners parade for the 2m 5f Cleanevent Novices’ Hurdle.
Paul Nicholls Rebel Du Marquis lived up to the first part of his name as he reared entering the parade ring and only just missed kicking one of Nicholls lasses on the back of the head.
Quentin Collonges and Ballyoliver were also on their toes.
15:13 Reaction to Master Minded's run from Paul Nicholls, "He has needed the run today, he's having a blow, and he won't have to give 10lb away again. We'll have to see what happens in the Tingle Creek, but the concern is his hanging right-handed."
15:10 Another cracking handicap in which Emma Lavelle’s Amore Mio attempted to make all but ended up being swallowed up in a late charge, although he did give a return for each-way punters by coming home fourth.
Wolf Moon was the one who pounced as they came down the hill and Warren Marston came with a well timed run to take the lead over the final flight.
Balthazar King, who had been with the pace throughout did make a race of it but Wolf Moon had enough in hand and held on by three parts of a length.
Adroit Approach was another running on well in the closing stages, having been settled mid-division and he came home in third spot.
Mahonia was sent off favourite and was never in contention.
14:46 Another big field contest for race four, the 2m 5f Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle, in which 17 face the starter, so each way punters can smile again.
As would be expected with seasoned handicappers they were well behaved in the parade ring. Fruity O’Rooney was slightly on his toes but that is only a minor negative.
14:34 A neat handicap with a cracking Cheltenham finish with any one of four in with a chance as they began the run-in.
Joint favourite James de Vassy set out to make all, accompanied by Cockney Trucker and El Dancer – although it has to be said the pace was sedate.
Coming down the hill the other joint favourite, Harry Tricker had joined the leaders and both Medermit and Khyber Kim had made progress to join in the action. The latter coming from almost last place.
Jumping the last the joint favourites were in front with Medermit and Khyber Kim just behind them.
It was Khyber Kim, under Paddy Brennan who ran on best of all, hitting the front and pulling away from his rivals. Harry Tricker did his best to cut down the lead but to no avail.
The front running efforts put paid to James de Vassy’s effort as Medermit grabbed third spot.
14:16 It has just started raining again.
14:15 After a couple of small fields we have 15 facing the starter in the extended 2m Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, our feature race of the afternoon.
Unfortunately four non-runners mean we only have each-way betting on the first three places.
14:02 Well Mr Nicholls was right to warn punters as it was clear coming down the hill that Master Minded needed the run.
Setting off in front the champion set a fair pace under Ruby Walsh with Timmy Murphy tracking on Well Chief along with Newmill.
Mahogany Blaze tracked the front trio, whilst the outsiders Kinkeel and William Butler had their own private battle in rear.
As they approached the downhill fences it was a three way go with Master Minded, Well Chief and Newmill all upsides.
Two out Well Chief hit the front, with Master Minded in second and Newmill beginning to tire.
Coming to the last Well Chief looked to be the best and was pulling away from Master Minded who looked tired.
As they progressed up the run-in Well Chief always looked the winner and although Mahogany Blaze was closing the result was never in any doubt.
Master Minded came home only third and the race has raised more questions than it has answered. He also demonstrated a tendency to jump right-handed, something from his early days.
It has to be asked, has Master Minded improved from Cheltenham last year – on this afternoons evidence the answer is probably no.
Take nothing away from the winner, Well Chief deserved to win this one after a 240 day absence.
In the Queen Mother Champion Chase betting Paddy Power now have Master Minded at 6/4, from 11/10, and have cut Well Chief from 20/1 into 6/1.
13:39 Sky Bet are more generous after the opener, they go 6/1 Tataniano and 6/1 Sizing Europe for the Arkle, whilst The Tote go 7/1 the pair.
13:35 I must admit I have some reservations about our second contest, the 2m Connaught Chase.
This is a contrived race set up to give Master Minded a racecourse workout.
Paul Nicholls has warned punters his star may need the run, having said that he looks magnificent in the parade ring, head and shoulders above the remainder.
Well Chief is his main market rival and these two head the betting.
On paddock impressions Newmill looks best of the rest.
13:23 The odds-on favourite, Tataniano, duly won the contest as an odds-on favourite came home eased.
However the result is slightly unsatisfactory as market rival, Fosters Cross, unseated Ronnie Power three out, when in second place. We never know what would have happened had the partnership remained in tact.
Having said that the game is about jumping and, apart from a minor mistake at the third, the winner jumped fluently under Ruby Walsh, with the six length margin of victory not telling the full story as he came up the home straight at a hack canter.
The winners stablemate Five Dream and outsider Pigeon Island had their own battle towards the rear with Pigeon Island winning that private battle to take the runners-up spot.
It looks as though Mr Nicholls has another potentially good chaser.
The winner is now 5/1 joint favourite with Sizing Europe for the Arkle with Paddy Power.
13:01 Just four face the starter in our opening Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase, over two miles.
The favourite Tataniano was pulling hard in the parade ring and Five Dreams was slightly on his toes. Fosters Cross and Pigeon Island looked to be pretty relaxed.
11:48 Hooray, the sun is shining.
11:13 Good morning from Cheltenham, where the weather is quite clement today. The sun is trying to break through and the wind is much more gentle.
A handful of non-runners, details on the right.
07:43 Just 1mm of rain overnight and the going remains Soft, Heavy in Places.
Our selections are:-
|Reve De Sivola
Here is the advanced report:-
Old course, Chase and Hurdle- SOFT,HEAVY IN PLACES.
(GoingStick: Old course (6.9), on Saturday at 06:00)
Forecast is for a dry night with just a few showers on Sunday.
Return to race archive:
The time in brackets is the time the horse was officially declared a non-runner.
SC - Self Certificate
VC - Vet's Certificate
6 Secret Tune (Going - 10:07)
12 Tramp Stamp (not eaten up - 12:25 Sat)
16 Gee Dee Nen (going - 09:15)
18 Salute Him (going 8:37)
2 Great Endeavour (not eaten up - SC 09:13)
6 Tullamore Dew (running in 1st preference - 10:31)
1 Captive Audience (Other - 09:26 Sat)
5 Lush Life (Going - 11:52 Sat)
7 Age Benefit (Travel - 09:45)
8 Ajloun (Going - 09:41)
13 Banjo Davis (Going - 13:18 Sat)
13:10 Novices' Chase 2m
1st 3 Tataniano 5/6 fav
2nd 4 Pigeon Island 12/1
Time 4' 05.4"
13:45 Chase 2m
1st 5 Well Chief 11/4
2nd 3 Mahogany Blaze 12/1
Fav 1 Master Minded 4/7 (3rd)
Places £1.50 £2.90
Time 4' 02.3"
14:20 Handicap Hurdle 2m 110yds
1st 4 Khyber Kim 9/1
2nd 17 Harry Tricker 6/1 jf
3rd 2 Medermit 8/1
15 Ran Nr's 6, 12, 16 & 18
Distances 2 & 1
Fav second & 14 James de Vassy (4th)
Places £3.70 £2.60 £2.90
Time 4' 07.5"
14:55 Handicap Hurdle 2m 5f
1st 17 Wolf Moon 12/1
2nd 8 Balthazar King 25/1
3rd 11 Adroit Approach 25/1
4th 7 Amore Mio 20/1
17 Ran Nr's 2 & 5
Distances ¾ & 1
Fav 4 Mahonia 4/1 (upl)
Places £3.50 £4.10 £6.10 £5.30
Time 5' 25.9"
15:30 Novices' Hurdle 2m 5f
1st 9 Tell Massini 15/2
2nd 2 Reve de Sivola 5/6 fav
3rd 1 Berties Dream 9/1
Distances 8 & ¾
Places £2.00 £1.10 £2.10
Time 5' 21.9"
16:00 Open NH Flat 2m 110yds
1st 1 Ghizao 7/2
2nd 4 Lidar 11/10 fav
3rd 12 Alverstone 14/1
8 Ran Nr's 1, 5, 7, 8 & 13
Distances 6 & 2
Places £1.70 £1.30 £2.40
Time 4' 08.4"