Race Report | 14:25 freebets.com Trophy Chase | Cheltenham

“We’ll have to think about the Racing Plus Chase (BetBright Chase at Kempton on February 21).

“It’s great to see the horse back in good form after his flop in the Hennessy,” said trainer Martin Keighley.

Paul Nicholls’ decision to send Easter Day to Cheltenham backfired after the seven-year-old fell three fences from home in the freebets.com Trophy Chase.

Keighley said: “He wasn’t right in the Hennessy, but a lot of my horses weren’t right at the time.

“If he does come back here in March, it will probably be for the Festival Chase. I think he’ll be better on better ground.”

Annacotty: Cheltenham winnerAnnacotty: Cheltenham winner

“I kept the cheekpieces on him to make him focus and have tunnel-vision, it’s not that he’s ungenuine or anything like that.


At the business end, Annacotty (5/1) showed much more of his usual sparkle to get the better of old-timer Big Fella Thanks by three-quarters of a length.

A change of scenery worked especially well for the Grade One-winning seven-year-old, who responded manfully to Gavin Sheehan’s urgings once push came to shove.

Annacotty was pulled up in the Newbury showpiece, but has since been hunting in a bid to freshen him up.

And connections were left to rue what might have been after Nicholls’ inmate, who was sent off the 3/1 favourite, crashed out when seemingly travelling well enough.

The Ditcheat handler was fined £1,200 by the Doncaster stewards after Easter Day bypassed a first-choice engagement in the Skybet Chase on Town Moor in preference to the Grade Three handicap at Prestbury Park.

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