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Menorah storms to Manifesto glory

Thu, 12 April 2012

Menorah (3-1) finally solved his jumping issues with a splendid win in the Betfred Manifesto Novices' Chase at Aintree.

Philip Hobbs and and Richard Johnson won the corresponding race 12 months ago with Wishfull Thinking and repeated the dose with the former top-class hurdler, a well beaten third behind Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle, though he barely touched a twig here.

Al Ferof set out to make all but he found disappointingly little when push came to shove which left stablemate Cristal Bonus to chase home the impressive seven-length winner.

Hobbs said: "It's been a long haul this year with his jumping and everything else but aside from a couple down the back when he left his hind legs behind he has jumped very well today.

"I don't think it was the extra trip - although I'm sure he got that all right - he's got plenty enough pace for two miles, I think it's just practice really."

There's a two-and-a-half-mile novice chase at Ayr next Saturday or there's a two-mile novice chase at Punchestown he's entered in. He's very tough and he's in very good nick so running him quick wouldn't worry me but there's more money at Punchestown."

Edgardo Sol was an emphatic winner of the matalan.co.uk Red Rum Handicap Chase to complete a double for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh after the win of Big Buck's earlier on the card.

The 9-2 favourite had run over hurdles since his course and distance success in October but that did not stop him being spring-heeled at his fences.

Leading two out, he quickly pulled clear of his rivals to score by 14 lengths from Astracad with long-time leader Echo Bob another seven lengths away in third.

Nicholls said: "That was impressive. He ran really well in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham where a messy jump at the last probably cost him. It wasn't really the plan to bring him back over fences, I didn't know where to run him, and if he's all right he'll run next weekend in the Scottish Champion Hurdle."