Racing: Honour for leading recruits

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The Independent Online

Seebald is the first winner of the Royal & SunAlliance award to the season's leading novice chasers, an honour run in conjunction with The Independent.

The companies already sponsor the two Grade One novice chases at the Cheltenham Festival and the awards are likely to feature several horses that will line up at Prestbury Park in March.

The awards are to be allocated monthly, with an overall winner to receive an award at Sandown's end-of -season fixture in April.

The judging panel comprises of Jim McGrath, of Channel 4 Racing and Timeform, Graham Cunningham, of the Racing Post, and John Cobb, of The Independent.

Seebald's award is for the month of November in which he produced an extraordinary performance to win the Independent Newspaper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham's Open meeting. Cruising alongside his main rival, Fondmort, at the second-last fence, Seebald jumped magnificently while Fondmort crumpled on landing. Opinion is divided on what the outcome would have been, but Seebald's winning time suggests he would have been very hard to beat.

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