Unow the winner of the Cleeve
The remarkable rise of Unowhatimeanharry continued as he maintained his unbeaten record at Cheltenham in the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle.
Unowwhatimeanharry leads Cole Harden over the line
The Harry Fry-trained nine-year-old was sent off the 10/11 favourite to confirm his superiority over Ballyoptic and he didn't disappoint, running on strongly up the hill.
His old rival had cut out much of the running in company with Cole Harden but none were going better than last year's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle winner as they jumped what would normally have been the second last.
The final obstacle had been dolled off due to the low sun meaning that there was still a long way to race but Barry Geraghty oozed confidence aboard Unowhatimeanharry.
His backers may well have been urging Geraghty to check his wing-mirrors as Ruby Walsh and West Approach came out off the pack to give chase but a shake of the reigns settled the result.
The winning margin was a length and three quarters with 2015 World Hurdle winner Cole Harden returning somewhere near his best in second with West Approach, still a novice, a length and a half back in third.
Fry said: "Barry looked confident coming down the hill and then he thinks he's done enough when he hits the front, but that's probably why he keeps winning. Obviously if he's OK after this we can roll on to March.
"If we worked him with 100-rated horse at home or a 140-rated, he goes a length up and stops. If he was winning by 20 lengths every time there'd come a time the tank would be empty.
"It was soft, tacky ground today and he travelled nicely through it, but he handles better.
"We'll have to see what Willie Mullins brings (in the World Hurdle), but there'll be something in Ireland fancying their chances.
"March is six weeks away, so plenty can happen."
Geraghty said: "He's a lovely attitude, he travelled really well through the race and got there easy enough, but then he dossed in front.
"He keeps beating what's in front of him, but only the same distance which is why he's under the radar a bit.
"He just keeps winning."
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