Coo Star Sivola stayed on stoutly in tough conditions to win the Listed Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at a soggy Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
A field of 10 went to post for this 2 ½ mile contest and as the tapes went up, it was Report To Base who led from Joe Farrell at the first flight.
Racing down the home straight for the first time, Report To Base continued to tow the field along from Joe Farrell, with Pingshou and Poetic Rhythm next.
Racing down the back straight for the first time, the field started to thin out, with Baden and Steel Bob losing touch, while further back, Cheltenham De Vaige fell.
Up front, Report To Base reached the third last ahead of Coo Star Sivola and Poetic Rhythm, while Minotaur was losing touch and Baden and Steel Bob had pulled up.
Report To Base headed downhill to the second last with Pingshou travelling well to his outside and Coo Star Sivola between horses, tracked by Poetic Rhythm.
Racing to the last, Coo Star Sivola led from Report To Base but it was all hard work in the rain-softened ground.
Coo Star Sivola showed plenty of guts to hold on from Report To Base, with Poetic Rhythm third and then the tiring Pingshou.
The Nick Williams trained 5 year old Coo Star Sivola, was giving jockey Lizzie Kelly a repeat success in the race which first brought her to prominence back in 2014, when she won it on Aubusson.
Williams said: “He was due for a win. He is a good horse and we know he is a good horse as he has lots of places.
“We needed that as we’ve had lots of near-misses.
“Auteuil was bottomless last time and he didn’t run well there but he ran well in the Persian War so the form was there.
“Where we go from here, I’m not sure. He would need to be 150-rated for the Neptune but he could go for the conditional jockeys’ race (Martin Pipe).”