Haldon glory for Tchico
Tchico Polos led home stablemate Twist Magic to give Paul Nicholls a one-two in an eventful renewal of the totesport.com Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.
The six-year-old (3-1) appeared to be one of the first of the major contenders to cry enough as Somersby and I'msingingtheblues headed into the home straight, but Ruby Walsh finally began to get his mount rolling and hit the front at the final fence.
Noel Fehily then flew home on Twist Magic, but was half a length down at the line, with Somersby another three lengths away in third. Herecomesthetruth ran out when in front.
Walsh said: "I knew when I was off the bridle they were going a hell of a gallop. It was quick, but it's a two-mile race and that's what you get.
"All I wanted was a good gallop and we got that. I heard the commentator saying Twist Magic was coming and I thought I was on the wrong one. But in fairness to the horse, he battled on when Twist Magic came to him."
Nicholls added: "They must have gone a strong gallop because this horse normally bowls along and Ruby said he was flat to the boards. He was thinking they'd gone too quick and they'd pick them up in the straight, which is what they did.
"Twist Magic has run a blinder on his first run and if he hadn't walked through the fourth-last he might have gone very close. He'll go straight to the Tingle Creek now.
"This was Tchico Polos' Gold Cup. He's going to be the sort of horse to run in those good conditions races now and it might be worth taking him to Ireland."
Henrietta Knight said of Somersby: "He ran very well. There were two fences in the straight that he put in short strides at and he lost lengths. He was careful and if he'd just pinged them he'd have been all right.
"I'm none the wiser as to long-term plans really. I keep saying he's a stayer but I think he's got gears as well. I think he'll probably go for the Tingle Creek next."