Sherwoods Folly (left): stayed on well under jockey Andrew TinklerPICTURE: Getty Images
Sherwoods Folly stays on stoutly to take honours
Report: Cheltenham, Friday
Cheltenham Annual Pony Club Raceday Handicap Chase (Class 2) 3m2½f, 5yo+
SHERWOODS FOLLY (11-2) stayed on in gutsy fashion after appearing well beaten to collar the tiring Double Dizzy and take the long-delayed second race of Cheltenham's New Year's Day card under Andrew Tinkler for trainer Henry Daly.
The contest only got underway 35 minutes after the scheduled off time after a third inspection at the track was called following the running of the first race on the card.
Half of the field were withdrawn as opinions divided on the state of the track, leaving just seven of the original 14-strong field.
Gentle Ranger showed up first with the gambled-on Leac An Scail in second while favourite Jass began in the rear in company with Turpin Green - the one runner continually making mistakes round the first circuit.
Winning trainer: Henry DalyPICTURE: Gerry & Mark Cranham
The 7-2 shot Gentle Ranger continued to jump exuberantly with Leac An Scail always in close attendance, while 10-1 chance Double Dizzy and Sherwoods Folly disputed third and fourth.
Leac An Scail had threatened the leader throughout, and was wastravelling much the better on the inside for Tjade Collier as the field reached the final bend.
Sue Smith's charge did hit the front from Gentle Ranger, but it was Double Dizzy, who had been niggled at earlier in the contest, who travelled best of all, and the trio quickly moved clear of the chasing pack.
At the top of the home straight Mark Bradburne and Double Dizzy hit the front, but they couldn't kick clear of Gentle Ranger, who despite beginning to tire, stilljumped well enough to be in there with a chance.
Sherwoods Folly still had an awful lot of work to do, but was staying on for Tinkler, and after jumping the second last, began to find his stride and started cutting into the leader's advantage.
Jumping the last in third, it still looked unlikely that the eight-year-old would overhaul Double Dizzy, but the leader began to tie up badly, and was passed on the run in by both Sherwoods Follyand General Ranger, who regained second.