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Taquin Du Seuil claims Challow at Newbury for Jonjo O'Neill and Tony McCoy

Updated: Saturday, 29 Dec 2012 18:35 | Comments

Taquin Du Seuil is a best-price 10-1 for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after his second consecutive win
Taquin Du Seuil is a best-price 10-1 for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after his second consecutive win

Taquin Du Seuil found the quickest route through desperately muddy ground at Newbury to give trainer Jonjo O'Neill and jockey Tony McCoy their fourth Betfred Mobile Sports Challow Novices' Hurdle in 11 years.

Sadness surrounded the team's most recent winner in 2010, Backspin, who only survived to run once more after this Grade One hurdle which has frequently proved a guide for future stars through the likes of Denman, Diamond Harry and Bindaree.

Taquin Du Seuil (13-8 favourite) was taking the natural step up from an easy Grade Two success at Sandown and managed to finish nine lengths clear of Easter Day despite flattening the final flight.

Only beaten once in four starts since arriving from France, he looks likely to be rested until the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

"You'd have to be looking that way," said O'Neill.

"He doesn't mind that ground, but I'd say he'd be as good a horse on better ground.

"He's just a lovely horse to have around, we have never had a problem with him since he came.

"He'll have a holiday now and might not run until Cheltenham."

There was concern for the well-fancied Clondaw Kaempfer, who suddenly dropped away in the home straight and was brought to a halt by Jason Maguire.

Trainer Donald McCain said: "Jason thought he had gone wrong but he has pulled-up OK."

Ballybough Pat had led the field along at a sedate pace and held on to third.

"I'm quite pleased - the first two have gone past him and he didn't really go with them, but he didn't give up," said trainer Anthony Honeyball.

"He won't do too much this season as he'll be a chaser."

My Tent Or Yours had inflicted Taquin Du Seuil's only British defeat at Ascot in early November and he was also in action in the Betfred Mobile Lotto Charity Introductory Hurdle.

However, the 4-11 favourite finished four and a half lengths adrift of his Nicky Henderson-trained stablemate Chatterbox (5-1).

"One went in the ground and one didn't," said Henderson.

"I still think My Tent Or Yours is a very good horse. I felt Chatterbox was not as mature and he'll only be having a quiet season."

"He doesn't mind that ground, but I'd say he'd be as good a horse on better ground" - Trainer Jonjo O'Neill on Taquin Du Seuil

Charlie Longsdon has been dumbfounded by Pete The Feat's progress since he arrived from Anna Newton-Smith's yard as the 15-8 favourite rattled off a five-timer in the Betfred Mandarin Handicap Chase.

The Chipping Norton trainer saddled two runners, with last year's winner Rey Nacarado snatching third, but there was only ever one horse in this long-established race as Noel Fehily kept his mount up to his task to finish five lengths clear.

"He has been a revelation - I don't think I've ever had one win five in a row," said Longsdon.

"I didn't want to run both in the same race but the owners wanted to come here and that's fine.

"In a way it's better to have first and third than first and second, as if you have first and second you've missed out on winning a race.

"I think Pete The Feat would go better on better ground. It's all a bonus now but I might try to find him a regional national somewhere."

Luck was for once on the side of Module (7-2) in the Betfred "The Bonus King" Novices' Chase.

A faller at Exeter last time, Tom George's French recruit was undoubtedly flattered by his winning margin of six lengths as McCoy had been forced to perch uncomfortably aboard the runner-up Colour Squadron for most of the race after his saddle slipped but still remained competitive.

George said: "He is a good jumper but has been unlucky - Paddy Brennan said he would have won on the bridle at Exeter.

"There's no great plan, we'll find him another race somewhere now."

Jumping looks to be much more the game for Philip Hobbs' Pistol (4-5 favourite), who was unable to win on the Flat for Michael Stoute and bettered himself in the Betfred Hat Trick Heaven Juvenile Hurdle.

Jockey Richard Johnson said: "He looks more of a chaser and the sort of horse who should get better and better over the next 12 months."

African Gold (4-1) is likely to be aimed towards the Albert Bartlett event at Cheltenham after he maintained his pleasing profile for the Twiston-Davies family in the Betfred Goals Galore Handicap Hurdle.

Arbeo (4-1) sloshed through the mud in the Betfred Double Delight Novices' Handicap Chase for trainer Diana Grissell, who landed what could have been the final event staged at Folkestone last week.

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