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Brave Oilily just beaten

Sean Byrne's Oilily was just run out of it as Topolski came from last to first to maintain his unbeaten record over obstacles in the John Smith's Top Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.

The winner, successful at Sandown and Newton Abbot previously, was sent off at 11-2 for this Grade Two contest and Daryl Jacob was content to bide his time at the rear of the field.

He began to make headway through runners turning out of the back straight and quickened up well to challenge for the lead heading towards the final flight, wearing down Oilily to score by three-quarters of a length, with favourite Sire De Grugy in third.

Byrne, trainer of the runner-up, said: "She just made one mistake which pushed her back a bit, but the winner was very good.

"This is our first runner in Britain, so it's fantastic. I'd say she'll go on for Punchestown and maybe Galway."

Jacob said of the winner: "He's very gutsy and all credit to David (Arbuthnot) and the owners for deciding to take on a good pot like this.

"He's not very big but he's all heart, and he keeps going for you. It was a very slowly run race and it didn't suit my horse. They were bunched up the whole way and turning into the home straight we sprinted.

"My horse hasn't had a whole lot of experience of running in a race like that, but he's got me out of trouble."

Arbuthnot added: "He'll have a break now and we'll bring him back later in the season for runs on the Flat, maybe something like the Old Newton Cup, the Ebor or the November Handicap.

"Hopefully he'll be a Champion Hurdle horse next season - we'd like to think he could be."

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