Slim win for Large Action fails to convince bookies : RACING

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Large Action gave his jockey a fright, brought his trainer pleasure and elicited a mixed response from bookmakers when having to battle hard for victory at Kelso yesterday in order to keep his place in the front rank of Champion Hurdle betting.

Ridden by Jamie Osborne, the pair gradually wore down Surrey Dancer to win the Morebattle Hurdle by a neck.

"It was no mean performance to give 26lb to the second," Large Action's trainer, Oliver Sherwood, said. "I was very pleased considering it wouldn't be Large Action's ideal track.

"This has sharpened Large Action's ideas up and I think I'll now have a crack at the Nottingham City Trial Hurdle in a fortnight as long as it doesn't come up heavy there."

Osborne believed that Large Action would have to settle for second best at one stage. "I was unable to get a breather into Large Action with Surrey Dancer kicking for home two out," the rider said, "and I honestly thought that horse had us beaten half way up the run-in.

"But with my fellow, you ask a little bit extra and he'll find a bit more. I've given him four or five slaps in the closing stages but he was responding to them all the time."

Ladbrokes clipped Large Action from 5-1 to 4-1 joint favourite along with Fortune And Fame and Relkeel for the Champion Hurdle, but the odds-makers at William Hill took the opposite view of the success and extended his price by half a point to 11-2, bringing in Fortune and Fame to 9-2 from 5-1. Coral, who have Large Action at 5-1 for the Champion, did not alter their prices.