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Beat That seals victory in Sefton Novices' Hurdle

Updated: Friday, 04 Apr 2014 18:33 | Comments

Beat That overcame a 119-day absence to triumph in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle
Beat That overcame a 119-day absence to triumph in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle

Beat That returned from a break in style to claim Grade One glory in the Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle.

Seeyouatmidnight has proven a star for Sandy Thomson this season, winning each of his three starts, and he was a 7-2 favourite for this extended three-mile contest.

Beat That had not been seen since finishing second at Sandown in early December and was 6-1 to complete a treble on the day for trainer Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty, following the earlier successes of Josses Hill and Ma Filleule.

Cole Harden led the field into the straight, with Seeyouatmidnight and Beat That tracking him in second and third respectively.

Geraghty oozed confidence between the third and second last flights and although Cole Harden proved a tough nut to crack at the head of affairs, Beat That eventually mastered him and was four lengths to the good passing the post.

Cole Harden ran a superb race to finish second, with Seeyouatmidnight eventually well beaten in third.

"We had to leave him alone for the winter, what with the weather and the ground,” Henderson said.

"He hadn't run since that race at Sandown a long time ago (in December). He's a growing up horse.

"It's great for Michael (Buckley, owner). He's had a torrid winter one way or another. Things haven't gone well, then a lot of people will have watched what happened last Saturday (with Toast Of New York winning the UAE Derby in Meydan).

"Six days later, we're back in the right place again. It's great because he's some supporter.

"This is a lovely horse for the future. I'd think he'd be chasing next year, but he's only had three hurdles races and a bumper in his life.

"I only dropped him into the three-mile race two days ago. He was going to go for the two-and-a-half-mile race on Saturday, but I juggled them round a little bit."

Buckley said: "It's unreal. We came back from Dubai for this wonderful race here. We'd had a great time the last couple of weeks.

"He is a big, scopey horse and Barry said afterwards he's still weak and still growing into his frame.

"They were pretty strung out there like in the Grand National, so it was a pretty fair performance.

"This slightly better ground was better for him seeing as he is weak at the moment.

"He is a chaser looking at him, but Nicky willl decide. It may be worth thinking about staying over hurdles over long distances. We'll see. At Fishers Cross won it last year. He'll be pretty good whichever way he goes."

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