Ch’tibello best, Tent third
Harry Skelton was seen again at his enterprising best as Ch'tibello outsprinted his rivals to win the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle.
Ch'tibello and Harry Skelton lead Melodic Rendezvous offer the final flight to win the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle at Haydock Park.
The four-strong field crawled along in the testing conditions in the early stages with Richard Johnson content to set slow fractions aboard outsider-of-the-field Melodic Rendezvous.
Noel Fehily looked to have his rivals just where he wanted them aboard dual Champion Hurdle runner-up My Tent Or Yours as the field turned for home.
But just as Melodic Rendezvous made a sloppy leap three out, the odds-on favourite was unable to respond when Harry Skelton suddenly seized the initiative aboard the 5/1 winner.
As Ch'tibello kept up the gallop all the way to the winning post, it was Melodic Rendezvous who ended up rallying for second place, two and a quarter lengths adrift of the winner with My Tent Or Yours one-paced in third.
The winning rider said: "They didn't go very quick and then sprinted, and that's one thing he is good at, he has a good turn of foot. He's a very fast horse."
The winning trainer said: "This race has a habit of cutting up. We said at the start of the week we'd leave him in.
"It turned into a four-furlong dash and he was in the right place at the right time. Harry gave him a great ride and we just capitalised today.
"Sometimes fortune favours the brave and you've got to leave all doors open at all times."
He went on: "This horse might just be Champion Hurdle class.
"Physically, he's improved since Ascot and his work has got better. Maybe, and only maybe, he could be a Champion Hurdle horse. We're going to the Christmas Hurdle and have a look.
"At the end of the day he's won over £61,000 today, so he can't have a bad year whatever happens!
"He's going to go up in the weights now, so we'll go to Kempton and then we might have a go at something like the Irish Champion Hurdle – which will be similar ground to today and maybe they don't go as fast.
"I'm a little bit shocked at the moment. I didn't expect to win."
Fehily felt the race had not been run to suit My Tent Or Yours.
He said: "He's always been a better horse on better ground and he probably wanted a more true-run race.
"He jumped well and travelled well but wasn't good enough on the day."