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The Cheltenham Festival is hugely important to the Tote Ten To Follow but it was Aintree that sealed the deal for ggcc2 who ran out a clear winner of this season’s Jumps competition after Epatante and Fakir D’Oudairies landed Grade One victories at the Grand National meeting. 

The winning stable netted 923.49 points in total, some 49.43 ahead of second place, scooping a prize pool of £39,150. In doing so, ggcc2 proved that Mares were the way to go this campaign with Honeysuckle and Epatante topping the stable’s points scoring. 

Honeysuckle extended her unbeaten record with three Grade One wins at Fairyhouse, Leopardstown and then Cheltenham, where she defended her Champion Hurdle crown to take her points tally to 132.25.

Epatante, meanwhile, was a three time winner this season along with a runner-up effort to Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle, but a win in the Aintree Hurdle boosted her tally to 124.50 for the season. 

It was no surprise to see A Plus Tard feature prominently in the winner’s stable either. He and Rachael Blackmore had a season to remember in Ten To Follow bonus races, winning the Betfair Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, as well as finishing second in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown, all of which contributed to a tally of 122.10 points. 

The fellow Cheveley Park-owned Allaho, one of the most popular Ten To Follow picks, went unbeaten for the campaign and rewarded his followers with a repeat victory in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival. That victory earnt him 52.88 points alone, which helped to cap off an overall points total of 103.78. 

Fakir D’Oudairies, 82.56 points, also showed why missing the Cheltenham Festival can be of benefit in the Ten To Follow. He picked up Grade One victories either side of the Prestbury Park showpiece, landing the Ascot Chase and then following up in the Melling Chase at Aintree, his only two points scoring runs.

Flooring Porter could only manage to finish second in the Liverpool Hurdle, but his emphatic second victory in the Stayers’ Hurdle in the hands of Tote ambassador Danny Mullins will live long in the memory. Runner-up in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown, the black and white silks were guided to 71.50 points for the season. 

Other Cheltenham Festival winners included Bob Olinger, who netted 56.92 after rather fortuitously landed the Turners, and the winning stable’s two mid-season transfers in Edwardstone who earnt 56.40 points after winning the Arkle, and L’Homme Presse who excelled through the mud to win the Brown Advisory. 

Shishkin was perhaps the only underwhelming pick in the winning stable to take 48.29 points. He was a winner of the Desert Orchid at Kempton and the Clarence House at Ascot, but flopped in the Champion Chase meaning his points total was slightly short of what might have been expected earlier in the season.

Winning Stable

Ggcc2 - 923.49

Honeysuckle - 132.25

Epatane - 124.50

A Plus Tard - 122.10

Allaho - 103.78

Fakir D’Oudairies - 82.56

Flooring Porter - 71.50

Bob Olinger - 56.92

Edwardstone - 56.40

L’Homme Presse - 54.75

Shishkin - 48.29

Paid Leaderboard Top 10

  1. Ggcc2 - 923.49
  2. Ladies First 7 - 874.06
  3. Shed The Frog 33 - 855.93
  4. Phoney27 - 848.79
  5. Mullys Gold A1 - 848.02
  6. Chunito - 847.97
  7. Tim Bobbin Punters 60 - 847.28
  8. BB 101 Denis2 - 846.08
  9. Roy’s Racing - 845.31
  10. Bobby Mangan 1 - 836.50

Top 10 Scoring Horses

  1. Commander Of Fleet - 161.70
  2. Edwardstone - 143.52
  3. Honeysuckle - 132.25
  4. Epatante - 124.50
  5. A Plus Tard - 122.10
  6. Allaho - 103.78
  7. Noble Yeats - 102.80
  8. Conflated - 100.50
  9. Ahoy Senor - 88.93
  10. Jonbon - 88.31

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