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National Hunt Eyecatchers For December

During December we are treated to a plethora of top quality jumping action with multiple Grade One contests taking place during the festive month.  In this section we picked out the ones that have been ultra-impressive and could be worth following for the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.

Bobs Worth

A sensational renewal of the Hennessy Gold Cup produced a magical winner as Nicky Henderson's Bobs Worth recorded a phenomenal display to get the better of Tidal Bay and First Lieutenant in a memorable renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup trial, in which the Seven Barrows raider won by three-and-a-quarter lengths.

Tracking the leaders from the outset, last season's RSA Chase winner jumped to the front after the second last and duly pulled clear of his main rivals in what was an impressive performance and he will now be looking to use that as a catalyst for what should be a superb season.

Ulck Du Lin

Heavily backed before the off, despite Ruby Walsh electing to bypass the ride, Ulck Du Lin was an emphatic winner of the Sportinbet Handicap Chase at Newbury's Hennessy meeting and the Paul Nicholls-trained raider was instantly cut to outright favourite for next year's Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Jumping impressively, he duly pulled clear of his rivals in the closing stages to beat the decent Oh Crick with aplomb and he is sure to improve and could be handicap chaser to keep on the right side of over the next few months.


It was labelled as a top class renewal of the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle and it certainly didn't disappoint as the Jessica Harrington-trained Jezki stormed to an impressive victory over Champagne Fever and Minsk to propel himself towards the top of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle betting.

Travelling in behind the front-running Champagne Fever, Barry Geraghty was always looking a danger to the favourite and he duly battled clear of his rival to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths and looks a real class act for the novice hurdling division this season.

Arvika Ligeonniere

Ruby Walsh was at his sublime best as he partnered Arvika Ligeonniere to a cracking victory in the Grade One Drinmore Novice Chase, where he got the better of the classy Dedigout, who was left a lot to do try and bridge the gap with his rival in the Fairyhouse contest.

Sent to the front from the flag fall, Walsh must've opened up a 30-length lead and was never for catching as his rivals toiled in behind and he was cut for both the Arkle Trophy and the RSA Chase.