Unowhatimeanharry wins Long Walk Hurdle for seventh successive victory

Barry Geraghty Unowhatimeanharry
Barry Geraghty also rode Unowhatimeanharry to victory at the Long Distance Hurdle Race at Newbury Racecourse on November 25

Cheltenham hopeful Unowhatimeanharry won his seventh successive race with a commanding victory in the JLT Long Walk Hurdle at a foggy Ascot.

The 6-5 favourite won by four and a half lengths after holding off Ballyoptic, who fell at the last.

The eight-year-old winner, trained by Harry Fry, was racing in the colours of owner JP McManus for the second time, under jockey Barry Geraghty.

"He probably has a little more class than he lets on," said Geraghty.

"He's very good, but he only does as much as he has to. He had to work hard, so it was a good performance."

Lil Rockerfeller (8-1) followed Unowhatimeanharry home, with Un Temps Pour Tout (16-1) a distant third.

The winner was installed by some bookmakers as favourite for the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Analysis

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

Unowhatimeanharry goes into the New Year with the Cheltenham Festival's World Hurdle trophy firmly in his sights and possibly at his mercy.

The eight-year-old - who won just one race from 13 starts before joining the Fry team - looks to have the long-distance hurdle brigade on the ropes after breezing home under an experienced jockey who clearly liked what he saw.

With reigning champion Thistlecrack chasing and plans for others unclear - though Jezki, also owned by JP McManus, could be an interesting player - this is not necessarily jump-racing's strongest division and Unowhatimeanharry is right at the head of things.

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