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Noel O'Brien hails 'unbelievable' Our Duke
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Noel O'Brien hails 'unbelievable' Our Duke
on 21 April 2017
Irish handicapper praises the National winner as "top staying chaser with enormous scope to get even better"

OUR Duke is rated just 1lb inferior to his Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning stablemate Sizing John following his magnificent performance on the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.

Making just his fourth appearance over fences in the Easter Monday feature, Our Duke came home with 14 lengths in hand under jockey-of-the-moment Robbie Power.

Ireland's senior National Hunt handicapper Noel O'Brien reacted by raising the seven-year-old a stone in the weights to a lofty new perch of 167.

Sizing John, who is set to line up in next week's Coral Punchestown Gold Cup, earned a rating of 168 when claiming the blue riband at Prestbury Park last month.

O'Brien told the Irish Times: "It was an unbelievable performance at Fairyhouse by a raw novice with just three runs under his belt over fences. But he turned what looked a very competitive race into a procession.

"In terms of novices he's 1lb below Altior and he's 1lb below Sizing John. But that 167 is pretty much a minimum rating. He dismissed hardened handicappers and he's obviously a top staying chaser with enormous scope to get even better.

"If you look at his four races now he's done it over a variety of distances. He was beaten by a specialist two and a half-miler in Disko at Leopardstown so he has gears but he also has limitless stamina."

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