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James Reveley: on a hat-trick mission in Italy

James Reveley: third on Maljimar in Anjou-Loire Challenge

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (  

Toutancarmont wins Anjou-Loire Challenge

Report: France, Thursday

Le Lion-d'Angers: Prix Anjou-Loire Challenge (Listed Cross Country Chase) 4m4½f, 6yo+

TOUTANCARMONT (Isabelle Pacault/Jonathan Plouganou) just got the better of a near-blanket finish to Europe's longest steeplechase, while Nick Williams's veteran Maljimar survived two serious blunders to finish just a length back in third.

Stablemate Shalimar Fromentro also finished in the money one place further back in fourth.

Another Jewel rattled home from off the pace to claim sixth while Bostons Angel was pulled up before the field headed out on it's final circuit.

Nearing the end of the marathon trip five horses jumped the final fence with a chance of victory.

But it was the six-year-old Toutancarmont, who connections brought here rather than travelling to Punchestown a fortnight ago, who preserved his 100 per cent record since being switched to cross country races at Pau over the winter.

James Reveley led the field well past half-way on Maljimar before a shuddering mistake on an up-bank almost severed the partnership.

By that stage hat-trick chasing Chriseti had already exited the race, while Robbie Power called it a day on Bostons Angel soon afterwards.

Maljimar made another notable mistake five from home but remarkably was back in contention running to the last.

Fabien Dehez deputized aboard Phakos for David Cottin, who earlier injured a collarbone, and the pair almost got up on the line.

Toutancarmont was adding a second Crystal Cup victory to the one he secured at Fontainebleau in April and Pacault said: "He's only six and we've looked after him in the run-up to today. He's found his real calling with these races and he's ridden by a magnificent jockey. To see a finish like one in a flat race after 7300m, it's terrific."

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