Menorah Shows Determination

Finding extra in the tank when it mattered, Menorah showed a determined effort under a strong challenge from runner up Bothy to score a victory in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Philip Hobbs

Philip Hobbs

Richard Johnson, aboard the top-weight made their challenge two out, gaining a slight lead but under great pressure from Bothy in the last 75 yards, to just deny the runner up by a neck, with race favourite, Manyriverstcross a further five lengths behind in third place.

"I'm very impressed. With top weight today on that ground I thought it would be hard for him," said the winning jockey Richard Johnson.

"To be fair to him, he stumbled at the back of the last. If he hadn't done that I think he would have won a bit easier.

"It's just fantastic to have a horse like this for the future.

"When I asked him after the last, he just knuckled down and kept finding more and more.

"He's very good, he was last year, and hopefully we have found the key to him now."

Hobbs commented, "It was a very good performance, especially as he had to go so wide as the ground was definitely better wider, and ideally he doesn't want it too soft.

"He knocked the third-last out of the ground. Normally his jumping is very good, but in spite of all that he still won so we're very pleased.

"He's only five and I hope there's room for a fair bit of improvement. Let's hope he's up there with my two previous winners of this race, Rooster Booster and Detroit City.

"After today you'd imagine we'd have to go the conditions hurdle route depending on what the handicapper does.

"I suppose the old Bula Hurdle back here might be next, but he'd have a large penalty in that. Otherwise he'd go for the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. It will be one or the other."

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