Big two dominate Betfair Hurdle
Market leaders Ballyandy (3/1 favourite) and Movewiththeimes (6/1) dominated the Betfair Hurdle with Nigel Twiston-Davies' runner coming out on top.
Ballyandy (centre, red) won the Betfair Hurdle
Successful on this card 12 months ago, Ballyandy had been all the rage since the betting opened but Paul Nicholls had made no secret of the regard in which he held Movewiththeimes.
As the race developed in earnest in the straight, their respective jockeys were still in the saddle side by side with the rest of the field hard at work.
Sam Twiston-Davies asked Ballyandy for a big jump at the final flight and the six-year-old didn't disappoint and came out of the obstacle with a clear lead.
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Movewiththetimes stuck to his guns under Barry Geraghty but Twiston-Davies – first jockey to Nicholls – and Ballyandy wouldn't be denied.
The pair were separated by three parts of a length while Clyne, six lengths adrift, finished best of the rest with Song Light running another big race in fourth.
The winner's stablemate Ballyhill had helped to cut out a strong gallop and while Clyne was always prominent, the principals were tucked away in midfield.
The field bunched up a little on the turn to the straight with Movewiththeimes making a move around the outside from the rear of the field to take a prominent position.
Ballyhill soon had his every move covered as the remainder couldn't go with them, the pair settled down to a game of cat and mouse with neither jockey willing to commit first.
Both jockeys asked for more of an effort approaching the last and it was last season's Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner who proved strongest in the finish to spark dreams of further Festival success.
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