Cheltenham: Cleeve Hurdle to Unowhatimeanharry

Unowhatimeanharry: won the Albert Bartlett at last year's festival

PICTURE: Patrick McCann ( Unowhatimeanharry cements banker status
By Stuart Riley 4:06PM 28 JAN 2017

Report: Cheltenham, Saturday Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m7f213y

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ON A day when Thistlecrack fluffed his lines and Vroum Vroum Mag was made to work hard for it, Harry Fry's Albert Bartlett winner Unowhatimeanharry cemented his status as a festival banker with an authoritative dismissal of a classy field.

That 2015 Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle winner Cole Harden was in second added further credence to the impression created, while the presence of West Approach, a half-brother to last year's winner Thistlecrack, in third and Ballyoptic in fourth were further boosts.

But in truth the pair were dismissed by the winner. Barry Geraghty oozed confidence turning in and as the field bypassed the final hurdle he looked between his legs for danger. There was nothing for him to worry about and despite giving upwards of 4lb to anything that got close to him and the nine-year-old, who is racing in the JP McManus silks this season, is now a best-priced 2-1 with several firms for the stayers crown.

It was as authoritative and dismissive a length and three-quarters success as you will see and the fact one firm went as short as 5-4 reflects the dominant position he now holds after his eighth straight win.

More to follow . . .

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