/ Racing

Fingal Bay narrowly wins Pertemps Final in thrilling finish

Updated: Thursday, 13 Mar 2014 18:15 | Comments

Fingal Bay and Richard Johnson just about justified favouritism
Fingal Bay and Richard Johnson just about justified favouritism

Fingal Bay defied top weight to win the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham in a thrilling finish from Southfield Theatre with Pineau De Re just behind in third.

The Philip Hobbs-trained Fingal Bay was a Grade One winner as a novice and returned from injury to win a qualifier for this race at Exeter from his stablemate If In Doubt.

Those two headed the betting but Tony McCoy was pushing before the home turn on If In Doubt and faded out of contention, while Richard Johnson sat motionless on Fingal Bay (9-2 favourite).

However, Daryl Jacob also came smoothly on the scene on Paul Nicholls' Southfield Theatre and the pair had a battle royal after the last, with just a nose between them.

Pineau De Re came from way back and weaved through to try and get in on the act just a neck back, with Trustan Times beaten less than a length in fourth.

Johnson said: "He's an amazing horse. We have always thought the world of him. He's come back from an injury last year, Philip gave him every chance and he's been well rewarded today.

"I didn't want to be in front too long and when I popped him - he's such a trier.

"I have good luck on my side at the moment. It's amazing for me, but Daryl is devastated."

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