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Racing

Top Notch wins Grade 1 honours at Sandown

Top Notch stretched his winning run over fences to four with an emphatic success in the Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown.

The six-year-old confirmed his place at the Cheltenham Festival, where his options include the JLT Novices' Chase, with a polished performance.

Amore Alato and Baron Alco made the running but the other three members of the field were never far away in what was a tight Grade One.

Top Notch (11-4) jumped the obstacles with proficiency and Nicky Henderson's charge sealed victory with a fine leap at the final fence.

Galloping resolutely up the hill, he scored by five lengths from Baron Alco, with Le Prezien another length and a quarter away third.

Clan Des Obeaux, the 13-8 favourite, was most disappointing.

Jockey Daryl Jacob, who was winning the race for a third consecutive year, said: "It was a great performance. That was a real test for him.

"He's not the biggest in the world but he makes up for it with his heart.

"He deserves it. He's very, very consistent and he always tries his heart out.

"This was a big step and it told us a lot."

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Racing