Class B, Cross Country Chase, £40,000 Guaranteed. For 5yo+, 3m .5f. Minimum Weight: 10st. Penalties: after February 27, a winner of a Chase 7lb - no penalty to increase a horse’s weight above 11st 12lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £23,200; 2nd: £8,800; 3rd: £4,400; 4th: £2,000; 5th: £1,000; 6th: £600
1) SPOT THEDIFFERENCE (J P McManus) Enda Bolger IRE 12-11-12 Mr J T McNamara 4/1
2) LUZCADOU (A G Chappell) Ferdy Murphy b12-10-13 Alan O'Keeffe 22/1
3) MRS BE (J H Burbidge) Grant Cann 9-9-12 Miss Polly Gundry (3) 20/1
4) LORD NOELIE (Executive Racing) Bridget Nicholls 12-11-8 Jason Maguire 14/1
5) VILLAGE KING (Capt Bill Edwards-Heathcote) Philip Hobbs 12-10-08 Richard Johnson
6) FRENCH EXECUTIVE (T Chappell, R Eddy, Mrs Jackson, Mrs Solman) Paul Nicholls 10-10-13 Paddy Brennan
7) ANDREWJAMES (Westside Syndicate) Peter McCreery IRE 11-10-00 David Casey
8) SMARTY (Tracy Brown) Mark Pitman 12-10-00 Timmy Murphy
9) UN JOUR A VASSY (Bunty Millard) Paul Nicholls 10-10-09 Christian Williams
10) MAJED (A J Neill) Lucy Normile b9-10-00 Niall Mulholland
F) COMANCHE WAR PAINT (Tony Fear & Tim Hawkins) Paul Nicholls 8-10-03 Ruby Walsh 100/30 Fav
F) JUST MAYBE (W E Prichard) Venetia Williams v11-10-06 Sam Thomas
F) GUN'N ROSES II (Lady Clarke) Paul Keane b11-10-11 Noel Fehily
PU) GALAPIAT DU MESNIL (Mel Fordham) Paul Nicholls 11-10-08 Joe Tizzard
PU) FAMFONI (The Propellers Partnership) Kim Bailey 12-10-00 Jim Culloty
UR) WILD TEMPO (Fergus Wilson) Michael Scudamore 10-11-2 Tom Scudamore
Breeder: Fenlon Bros Breeding: b g Lafontaine (USA) - Spotted Choice
Dist: 2.5, 6, .75, 7, 5, 11, 12, 13, 20
Tote: Win: £3.90 Places: £1.90; £5.10; £2.80; £4.00 Exacta: £126.70
Winning Trainer: Enda Bolger Born: April 21, 1963 Based: Howardstown House, Bruree, County Limerick, Ireland Cheltenham Festival Wins (2): Christies Foxhunter (1996 Elegant Lord), Sporting Index Cross Country Handicap Chase (2005 Spot Thedifference) Big Race Wins Include: Sporting Index Cross Country Chase (2004 Spot Thedifference)
Winning Jockey: John Thomas McNamara Other Details: Leading Irish amateur and point-to-point rider. Rode Samual Wilderspin to victory in Thomas Pink Amateur Chase at Cheltenham in November 2001. Cheltenham Festival Wins (1): National Hunt Chase (2002 Rith Dubh) Big Race Wins Include: Sporting Index Cross Country Chase (2004 Spot Thedifference)
SPOT THEDIFFERENCE LANDS CROSS-COUNTRY
Spot Thedifference, partnered by leading Irish amateur J T McNamara, came from a long way back to land the inaugural Sporting Index Handicap Chase for owner J P McManus.
The 12-year-old has won all three cross-country races at Cheltenham this season and winning trainer Enda Bolger said: "It’s the story of his life, he never gets going until the party is over. Last year he was last passing the stands in the National and just stayed on and stayed on.
"The one thing he really does is stay and carrying top weight was my biggest worry.
"He is in the National and is also likely to again go for the Blue Square La Touche Cup at Punchestown (for which there is a 50,000 euros bonus if successful after the Sporting Index Handicap Chase). The owner’s stuck for a few quid so we might just go for the bonus!
Winning rider J T McNamara said: "It wasn’t the plan to be as far out at the back as I was but the ground is very soft in the centre of the course, it was a bit tacky and he never really travelled but I knew it would take a fair one to catch him.
"He has great heart, he has to be galloping and jumping like that for six minutes."
LUZCADOU ON HIS TRAVELS
Two old-timers fought out the finish of the Sporting Index Handicap Chase, and, while Luzcadou was forced to play second fiddle to fellow 12-year-old Spot Thedifference, being beaten two and a half lengths, Ferdy Murphy was proud of his performance across the Cross-Country course.
Murphy said: "You need a specialist horse to win this race, but you also need a good one, and Spot Thedifference is both.
"I actually thought he wasn’t travelling early on, but then he came back into vision, and I thought ‘oh no, any colours except the green and yellow’.
"We will take on Spot Thedifference again at Punchestown - and probably get beat again!
"But there is also a new race over banks at Caen in Normandy in September, so we’ll give the old boy a summer break and bring him back for that."
RUBY WALSH MISSES LAST
Ruby Walsh will miss the ride on Napolitain in the concluding Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle after taking a tumble on Comanche War Paint in the Sporting Index Handicap Chase.
Walsh walked into the weighing room after the cross-country chase. He was stood down for the rest of the day by the doctor after suffering bruising.
Christian Williams takes over on Napolitain.
Other riders who fell in the Sporting Index Handicap Chase - Noel Fehily, Sam Thomas and Tom Scudamore all reported themselves as being fine.
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