The Cheltenham Open Sunday 2012

Day three and Nicky Henderson yet to have a winner gains some compensation by winning the Racing Post Arkle Tophy Trial with his promising young chaser Captain Conan. The Captain made a very pleasing start to his chasing career, jumping well and always doing enough up the hill to win from Sire De Grugy by a comfortable 2 Lengths. He is now 2nd favourite behind his stable mate Simonsig for the Arkle in March.

Another notable performance was The Nigel Twiston Davies trained Double Ross in the 18 runner Paddy Power Intermediate handicap hurdle over 2m 5f. Double Ross who had been chasing but fell last time out at Worcester, galloped his rivals into the ground in a pillar to post victory and was given a great ride by Sam Twiston Davies.

All in all an enjoyable meeting, although a lot of these will run a different race in better ground which hopefully they will get for the festival in March. Plenty of twists and turns to come before the big one, with some great racing to look forward to as the picture unfolds.

Bruce Roger

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