It was Clifton Fox's first run at a mile and a half, just eight days after running third in a 10 furlongs Listed contest, and the winning trainer Jeremy Glover was understandably delighted with his favourite horse's effort. He said: "With the ground so testing, I thought he would need to stay a mile and three-quarters, and it just shows what a good, tough horse he is. He wasn't quite himself early in the year, but he's come right back to form this autumn, and the more racing he's had the better he has got."
The stewards had a look at the course steered by Clifton Fox in what was rather an untidy finish, but rightly decided Nigel Day, who had switched his whip into the correct hand as soon as his mount started to veer, had made every effort to keep his horse straight and took no action. Nabhaan, another to waver close home, held off last year's runner-up Dato Star for third.
At Chepstow, one who is touted for the top this winter, See More Business, made a highly satisfactory debut over fences in the appropriately named Rising Stars Novices' Chase.
Tony McCoy settled the six-year-old, who made a couple of novicey mistakes early, behind his two rivals before asking him to go to the front at the fourth-last fence. From there See More Business, unbeaten in three runs over hurdles last season before being sidelined by a minor injury, strode away to beat Wee Windy by eight lengths and notch his rider's 85th win of the season.
Paul Nicholls, the gelding's trainer, said: "He may not have beaten much, but to pop round here first time is a fair test, and he was all class up the straight." Ireland's star novice chaser Danoli made it two out of two over fences at Naas, though his two and a half length defeat of Crossfarnogue was workmanlike rather than spectacular, and the progressive former hunter chaser Coome Hill booked his place in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup Handicap Chase field after an eye-catching display of jumping in the Badger Beer Handicap Chase at Wincanton.
If Clifton Fox demonstrated his versatility on the Flat, he has nothing yet on the Cesarewitch Handicap winner Inchcailloch who took a three miles handicap chase at Sandown just three weeks after his victory in the Newmarket marathon. Obstacles also provided a winning opportunity for perennial Flat loser Green Green Desert, who got his head in front on his hurdling debut at Uttoxeter.Reuse content