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2020/21 Season Review | The November Meeting: Shunter The Star in the Greatwood

The November Meeting entertained racing fans during the nation’s second lockdown

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2DAW8G0 The Shunter ridden by jockey Robbie Power (right) clear the last to win The Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle during the Cheltenham November Meeting 2020 at Cheltenham Racecourse.

As Britain locked its doors for the month and entered a nationwide lockdown for a second time, the show continued at Cheltenham in the form of The November Meeting.

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Following the events of October’s Showcase fixture, the extended three-day card took place once again behind-closed-doors at Prestbury Park on the Friday with six contests, headlined by the Grade 2 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

WPG583 A view of Cheltenham Racecourse and Cheltenham Spa from Cleeve Hill, England
The November Meeting is Cheltenham’s second meeting of the National Hunt season

A winner at the track a month earlier, Kim Bailey’s Does He Know landed a Gloucestershire, and local, success once again under David Bass.

El Presente and jockey David Bass going to post before the RacingTV Extra Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at Exeter Racecourse.
Kim Bailey had his best training campaign since 2014-15

In an intriguing novice chase, future Grade 1 hero Protektorat announced himself as a chaser to be reckoned with following a bloodless win under Harry Skelton for brother Dan, while former Festival heroes Easysland and Tiger Roll failed to fire in the Glenfarclas Cross County Chase.

WATCH: PROTEKTORAT PUTS IN A BLINDING PERFORMANCE AT THE NOVEMBER MEETING UNDER HARRY SKELTON [CREDIT: RACING TV]

Kingswell Theatre claimed glory for Michael and Tom Scudamore.

There were further wins for Castle Robin, Magic Saint and Lively Citizen.

A day later, Coole Cody was not to be denied in the Paddy Power Gold Cup for Tom O’Brien and Evan Williams, bravely holding Cheltenham stalwart Spiritofthegames and the highly-weighted Al Dancer at bay.

WATCH: THE BRAVE COOLE CODY SEES OFF THE FIELD TO TAKE THE PADDY POWER [CREDIT: RACING TV]

Subsequent Triumph silver medalist Adagio had to settle for second best seven months ago as well, chasing home Duffle Coat, as Robbie Power picked up a double on the day with Eldorado Allen landing the Grade 2 Novices’ Chase later in the afternoon.

Would-be Champion Bumper third Elle Est Belle shared a dead-heat with Harry Fry’s Ishkhara Lady, while Storm Control, On The Blind Side and Stimulating Song completed the day’s proceedings.

2D5XAHK Trainer Dan Skelton (left) with brother, jockey Harry Skelton during day two of the Showcase at Cheltenham Racecourse
Harry and Dan Skelton claimed two winners apiece at The November Meeting
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On the final day, none other than Cheltenham heroine Put The Kettle On took the Shloer Chase, keeping up her unbeaten track record having won the Arkle Trial at the meeting in 2019, and she would go onto land the Champion Chase in March under Aidan Coleman.

WATCH: TWO ARKLE WINNERS COLLIDE AS PUT THE KETTLE ON RUNS DOWN DUC DES GENIEVRES IN THE SHLOER CHASE TO MAINTAIN HER UNBEATEN CHELTENHAM, AND THE NOVEMBER MEETING, RECORD [CREDIT: RACING TV]

A second prospective Festival winner would also steal the show on the Sunday, as Emmet Mullins’s The Shunter took the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle as the Irish completed a duo of raides.

The son of Stowaway would go onto win the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso before landing the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase in March.

Ballymore fourth eight months earlier, The Big Breakaway won on chase debut, while Ramses De Teillee claimed Grade 3 honours for David Pipe.

The Big Breakaway and Robbie Power winning at Cheltenham Racecourse in November 2020
The Big Breakaway’s victory was one of four successes for Robbie Power at The November Meeting

For Pleasure made all to score a remarkable front-running win in the Supreme Trial, where he’d go onto be third in the main event two months ago, while former Gold Cup-winning jockey Sam Thomas trained Good Risk At All to success in the curtain closer.

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.

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