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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Shooters guns down oppositionHeadlines
Shooters Wood takes the last on the way to victory

Shooters Wood kept on gamely for trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh to win the paddypower.com Handicap Chase at Cheltenham.

Walsh was always in the front rank on the eight-year-old (7-1) as Arctic Ben tried to make all, and he looked well in control as they rounded the turn at the top of the straight. French raider Wetak tried to go with him, but he pecked on landing at the second-last and it looked as though the battle was over.

Tom Scudamore switched Wetak to the inside and he ran on again, but Shooters Wood stayed on grimly to prevail by a length and a half. Silver Roque claimed third, while 9-2 joint-favourites Astracad and Kid Cassidy failed to make an impact.

Nicholls said: "This lad's run a blinder. Ruby said he probably should have won on him at Taunton the last day. It was the first time he'd sat on him and he said he should have saved a bit. Today I knew Ruby would ride him a bit differently and save a little bit for the hill and it was perfect.

"I think left-handed tracks suit him better. He looks an out-and-out two-miler and I'm not sure what we will do with him now."

Walsh added: "He's a good jumper and has loads of pace, which is what you need in a two-mile horse."

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