TO the untrained eye, the run of Klitschko at Newbury on New Year's Eve didn't amount to much.
The JP McManus-owned runner stayed on at the end but finished a full 15 lengths behind shock 66-1 winner Jupiter Du Gite.
All the talk afterwards was about Gary Moore's 'mad' horse, who was doing trots racing with harnesses not long ago.
And about Nicky Henderson's Jet Powered – who flopped spectacularly in the 2m hurdle.
The horse had been 13-2 second-favourite for the Supreme and seen as a real challenger to fav Facile Vega.
But Willie Mullins' unbeaten star shortened to odds-on after Jet Powered's dismal run, that horse going to 33-1 for the Festival opener.
However, a bit like an optical illusion, the more times you look at something, the more likely you are to spot something you didn't expect.
Betfair racing tipster Tony Calvin was certain he found something in Klitschko's run.
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Held out the back throughout by jockey Tom Cannon, the famous gold and green McManus silks were caked in mud by the time the horse approached the last.
But it was then he switched sharply left, passed two tired runners and sauntered to the line under hands and heels.
In fairness, there was no need to ask the Alan King-trained horse for more given how far ahead Jupiter Du Gite was.
But Calvin – who admitted Jupiter Du Gite's win was 'extraordinary' – noted the horse's eyecatching run all the same.
And, speaking on the Weighed In podcast, he said: "I tell you what was more extraordinary, the horse in second, Klitschko.
"Go and have a look at that run, their second run over hrdles.
"That was a handicap project if ever I saw one. Keep your eye on Klitschko.
"I don't know what the time (of the race) was like, but the one who was second made me chuckle."
Klitschko, a five-year-old gelding, won a bumper at Huntingdon last May.
A son of Blue Bresil, he was a six-length third when 4-11 on hurdles debut at the same track in November.
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Under new rules, a novice must run four times before competing in a Class 1 or Class 2 handicap hurdle race.
So if JP is planning a plot job on Klitschko for the Festival, the horse will have to run twice more before then.
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