Greatwood Handicap: Harambe wins by a neck in Cheltenham thriller

Harambe and Monsieur Lecoq in the Greatwood Handicap
Harambe (left) trailed Monsieur Lecoq after jumping the last

Alan King's 16-1 chance Harambe produced a stirring finish to capture the Greatwood Handicap at Cheltenham by a neck.

Jockey Tom Bellamy manoeuvred the six-year-old expertly and squeezed between 9-1 shots Monsieur Lecoq - and Gumball, who finished second on the outer rail.

Lizzie Kelly was pipped into third place on Monsieur Lecoq having been in a prominent position on the run-in.

Fergal O'Brien's 9-2 favourite Benny's Bridge was 12th, 52 lengths back.

On soft ground, heavy in places, over the two-mile-and-half-a-furlong run, there were seven fences - one fewer than usual - because of the heavy rain that caused the abandonment of Friday's racing.

Kelly, who broke her arm in a fall at Exeter last month, looked strong on Jane Williams' five-year-old, who won by a short head from Le Prezien over two miles on soft ground at Ffos Las last month.

Jumping the last in the lead, she was gradually reeled in over the final stretches.

Harambe had disappointed on his seasonal debut five weeks ago with Wayne Hutchinson on board, finishing seventh of nine on good to soft ground at Chepstow, but responded superbly to record his third win of the calendar year.

Meanwhile, the Philip Hobbs-trained Defi Du Seuil, ridden by Barry Geraghty, staked an early claim to jump racing's Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March with success in the Shloer Chase.

An 11-4 favourite, the six-year-old took the four-horse race over a mile and seven furlongs by one and a quarter lengths from Politologue (5-2), trained by Paul Nicholls.

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