Manifesto Novices' Chase
|Grade 1, Aintree 13:45
2m 3f 200y, Class 1
|Thursday 6th April 2017
1 Flying Angel 5/1
Cloudy Dream 4/1
Top Notch 6/5F
6 ran Distances: 1l, 4½l, 4l
Time: 5m 1.60s (slow by 13.60s)
Flying Angel wins the opener under a great ride from Noel Fehily
Ridden by Noel Fehily, Flying Angel stuck on resolutely in the closing stages to fend off the sustained challenge of Malcolm Jefferson's Cloudy Dream, who finished a length behind the winner in second.
Favourite Top Notch
, who failed to jump with any real fluency, finished a further four and a half-lengths back in third.
Winning rider Fehily said: "He is a tough horse and he toughed it out very well from the back of the last.
"When Brian Hughes [rider of Cloudy Dream] came up to me between the last two I thought I was in a little bit of trouble but I knew that my fella wouldn't stop.
"Nigel's horses are fit, tough, they stay and they jump and I just wanted to make use of him."
Fehily rode Flying Angel in the G1 JLT Novices' Chase
at the Cheltenham Festival, where he finished sixth and the jockey believed he had learnt a lot from that race.
He continued: "I thought I was going ok at the top of the hill in the JLT but I got badly hampered and I almost nursed him home. I thought he was going to finish close that day and he has proved it today."
Winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies said: "This is a great consolation for Cheltenham, where he was badly hampered by a horse falling in front of him and was brought to a standstill. He hacked round and finished sixth. It was a great shame - would he have won? Probably.
"He was really gutsy here - they went no gallop at all and it would have helped if there had been more of a gallop. He was superb and we are chuffed to bits.
"I don't think we will run him again this season. But next year we will go for the top - maybe the Ryanair Chase
or something like that."
He added: "I'm delighted to be riding him. I think he has a bit of class and he ran well behind Vieux Lion Rouge last time. That was good form and I'm very hopeful of a big run.
Manifesto Novices' Chase
£100,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 3f 200y, Class 1
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
||Flying Angel (IRE) 5/1
||N D Fehily
|N A Twiston-Davies
||Cloudy Dream (IRE) 4/1
|J M Jefferson
||Top Notch (FR) 6/5f
||D A Jacob
|N J Henderson
||Max Ward (IRE) 12/1
||A P Heskin
|T R George
||Frodon (FR) 5/1
|P F Nicholls
||Cyrius Moriviere (FR) 40/1
DREAM LIVES ON FOR JEFFERSON DESPITE CLOUDY DEFEAT
A gutsy effort by Cloudy Dream just failed when he finished second to Flying Angel in the Manifesto Novices' Chase.
It was the seven-year-old's first attempt at two and a half miles, and while he was worn down by the winner after they jumped the last upsides, Jefferson was in no doubt that stamina waps not the issue. The Brian Hughes-ridden runner-up, who carried the colours of Trevor Hemmings, was beaten a length, with four and a half lengths back to the 6/5 favourite Top Notch from Nicky Henderson's stable.
Cloudy Dreams had chased home Altior in the Racing Post Arkle Trophy
over two miles at The Cheltenham Festival on his previous start, and Jefferson said: "The trip [today] wouldn't bother him at all. He's run a fine race, but it's a high standard in Grade One races. He might even be a three-miler in time.
"Being by Cloudings we knew he had a bit of speed, but he might stay a good bit further - we can't be disappointed given the way he's run.
"It's a pity not to win, but that's about it. He can jump a little bit big - although better that than jumping too low - and he took off too soon at the first ditch, but it was a novicey mistake.
"He'll improve with racing. We'll see how he is when he gets home - there is the Future Champions Chase at Ayr to consider, but I wouldn't like to get to the bottom of him and he's now run in two Grade Ones."
Henderson said of Top Notch, who was runner-up to Yorkhill
in the JLT Novices' Chase
at the Cheltenham Festival: "He's been on the go a long time and had a proper campaign. Daryl [Jacob] felt he ran a bit flat today.
"The story of the week will be which horses have come out of Cheltenham the best. He had a tough race there, but he's run well again today. I'm happy with him."