14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Minella on the mark for HendersonHeadlines
Minella Forfitness on his way to victory at Doncaster

Following Utopie Des Bordes' victory in the opening race at Doncaster, Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty doubled up with the promising Minella Forfitness in what could prove to be an informative Ā£32 Bonus At Maiden Hurdle.

The 2011 November Handicap scorer Zuider Zee and dual Cesarewitch hero Aaim To Prosper were with the eventual winner all the way up the home straight but it was the former point-to-pointer who stayed on strongly.

A good leap at the last settled matters for the 11-4 joint-favourite, who ran out a two-length winner from Zuider Zee, who shaped well first time over hurdles.

"He was pretty keen and at halfway I thought I'd made a mistake stepping him up in trip," said Henderson.

"Barry said he wasn't as keen as he looked, though, and looking at the race you'd say the first three were much the best. He wants this trip, but Aintree could be more his place than Cheltenham."

The Paul Nicholls-trained Ruben Cotter (85-40) made a winning chasing debut in the NovicesĀ“ Chase.

His main rival in the straight was the 6-4 favourite Vintage Star but the concession of 7lb took its toll and eight lengths separated them at the line.

Winning jockey Daryl Jacob said: "He did it nicely and travelled well the whole way. He's always looked a nice horse at home but disappointed on the track. He jumped well and when I got stuck into him he responded."

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