Taquin Du Seuil and Tony McCoy head to Challow victory at NewburyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Taquin Du Seuil takes Challow in style
Report: Newbury, Saturday
Betfred Mobile Sports Challow Novices' Hurdle Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m5f, 4yo+
TAQUIN DU SEUIL advanced his Cheltenham Festival claims with what turned out to be an emphatic success in the mud at Newbury.
Backed down to 13-8 favouritism having been a general 9-4 chance in the morning, the Jonjo O'Neill-trained five-year-old always looked to have the contest under control except for a clumsy jump at the final hurdle.
Bookmakers were impressed with the victory with Paddy Power cutting the winner to 8-1 (from 16) for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, while Coral and William Hill make him a 10-1 chance (from 16).
However no winner of the Challow has gone on to land that Cheltenham contest.
Tony McCoy settled the winner at the back of the field headed at a steady pace by Ballybough Pat.
Morning favourite Clondaw Kaempfer was the first to send out distress signals as Jason Maguire asked him to keep up to his work leaving the back straight and he was pulled up soon after turning for home.
While that was happening McCoy cruised up to Easter Day at the front of the field and started to pull clear approaching the last.
He bunny-hopped the last but it was not enough to stop his momentum and he pulled nine lengths clear of Easter Day at the line with Ballybough Pat a further three and three quarter lengths behind in third.
The victory was the fourth for O'Neill and McCoy in the race in the last 11 seasons and, while the Challow winner has not followed up in the Neptune, Wichita Lineman went on to score in what is now the Albert Bartlett in 2007.
O'Neill said: "He's a lovely horse with a lovely attitude and doesn't mind that ground but I think he will be just as good on better ground.
"The likelihood is he will have a break now for a few weeks as he deserves a little holiday and we will take it from there.
"He will get an entry in the Neptune and the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham."
BetVictor quote the winner at 8-1 for the Albert Bartlett.