Friday, 1 December 2017

Newbury: 40-1 Beer Goggles stuns Unowhatimeanharry as Thistlecrack disappoints

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A dissapointing Thistlecrack has been eased out to 14-1 after finishing fifth behing 40-1 shock winner Beer Goggles on his return in Newbury's Long Distance Hurdle.

Richard Woollacott's six-year-old , whose last win came in handicap company at Market Rasen, led the field of six and jumped fluently throughout.

He was joined by market leaders Thistlecrack and Unowhatimeanharry from three out, but the former was soon pushed by Tom Scudamore before falling out of contention.

Harry Fry's Stayer's Hurdle hero Unowhatimeanharry attempted to get past, but a determined ride from champion jockey Richard Johnson denied the three-time Grade One hero by two-and-a-half lengths.

"We jokingly said beforehand 50-1 was being a bit rude about him," said jockey Richard Johnson.

"He's been in great form and he's a real improver. He ran a really good race last time under top-weight at Aintree.

"I think realistically, with Unowhatimeanharry and Thistlecrack in the race, you always felt it was going to be hard to beat them, but he jumped and travelled. I was enjoying myself and so was he.

"He stayed and jumped really well."

Unowhatimeanharry's second place finish was creditable considering he was giving his rivals 6lb, whilst Thistlecrack's 13 length defeat was hugely disapointing.

He was eased into 10-1 by bookmakers to reclaim his King George prize later this month, with favourite Might Bite shortened into 7-4 for the Boxing Day showdown.

Taquin De Seuil finished third whilst Colin's Sister and Wholestone took fourth and sixth spot respectively.

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Ben Pauling's Willoughby Court has been shortened into 7-1 for the JLT  at the Festival after his three length win

Elsewhere on the card, Willoughby Court won his battle against Christmas and Liverpool Hurdle hero Yanworth in the Novices' Chase.

The former Neptune winner made all and jumped better of the pair, before seeing off Alan King's star by three lengths for jockey Nico De Boinville.

Nicky Henderson completed a one-two in the Novice Hurdle as Santini beat stablemate Chef Des Obeaux.

Oldgrangewood and The Organist won handicap prizes, whilst Lostintranslation and Bigmatre also were successful on the day.

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