Ladbrokes Champion Chase (Grade 1)
ENVOI ALLEN stamped his class on the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Steeplechase after winning a battle with Kemboy at a track he loves. This was his second crack at the three-mile trip and he certainly proved his stamina as he had to tough it out after a less than fluent round of jumping.
The eight-year-old gelding was ridden by Rachael Blackmore to challenge racing to the second last and took a narrow lead on the run-in before keeping on best to prevail by a length and three-quarters at 7/2, from as big as 10/1 in the morning.
Robbie Power, representing trainer Henry de Bromhead and owner Cheveley Park Stud, said: “It was brilliant. We always thought stepping up in trip would suit him. He only ran once before over three miles and that was at the end of a season.
“He didn’t jump brilliant early on, he took a while to warm up to his jumping but, when Rachael wanted him later on, he was there for her.
“That opens up options for us now that he stays three miles. You’d have to think down that line (Gold Cup) anyway, he’s in the King George. We’ll get him home and see how he is after that and decide after that.
“He has maintained his unbeaten record around here (four from four). It was fantastic and Henry had him cherry ripe for today. He was in proper order.”
Invictus victory for Elliott
Gavin Cromwell and Keith Donoghue enjoyed a double on the card which was initiated by Invictus Machin (12/1) in the Tayto Group Maiden Hurdle. Gordon Elliott’s French-import Foxfire Glow went off 4/9 favourite on his Irish debut after showing strong form in his native land, however, he came under pressure before two out and dropped to third after being headed on the run-in by Invictus Machin who scooted away to win by five lengths.
Trainer Gavin Cromwell said: “He worked well at home and we weren’t sure coming here with Gordon’s horse being so fancied. I would have been very disappointed if he didn’t run a good solid race. He’s a Coastal Path and a fine stamp of a horse, and will be a lovely horse next year.”
Invictus Machin and Foxfire Glow were two of five J.P. McManus representatives in this extended two-mile contest.
Marching Orders from Camelot son
FINAL Orders justified 2/1 favouritism for Cromwell, Donoghue and the CMD Syndicate in the Free Trial Now At racingtv.com Handicap Chase over three miles. The son of Camelot was always in the front rank and stayed on best to see off Archies Charm by three-parts of a length to bring up his hat-trick over fences.
Cromwell said: “He’s just so good to jump, he just keeps gaining lengths. He’s only a small, little horse and he just got away with that ground. He wouldn’t want it any softer than that.
“We are getting up to a high enough mark and he might sneak into the bottom of a nice handicap somewhere. We’ll have a look at the calendar and see - if there was something around Leopardstown, you might get nice ground.”
FURY Road (7/2) and Delvino had a terrific tussle in the Grade 2 Eventsec Chase with the former shading the verdict by a short-head for Gigginstown House Stud.
Delvino was in receipt of 18lb from her rival and jumped well especially once grabbing the lead at the fifth fence. She kept on nicely, but was worn down in the final strides by Fury Road in this extended two-mile–three-furlong race.
Gordon Elliott said: “It was a fair effort giving the mare that weight. Jack (Kennedy) gave him a great ride. He said he wasn’t in love with the ground. He’ll improve from that going forward, he galloped the whole way. We’ll step him up in trip.”
Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud doubled up when point-to-point winner King Of Kingsfield landed the odds on his track debut in the Ladbrokes (Pro-Am) INH Flat Race. The 8/13 favourite was stoked up by Jamie Codd to lead over a furlong out and the duo increased the margin to three and a half lengths at the line.
“Jamie said he did plenty the whole way, but he said he is a proper horse. He’s a good horse and will be a lovely horse with a summer’s grass,” Elliott said. Reflecting on the two-day festival, he added: “Brilliant, we had six winners and heaps of seconds and thirds. It is a great place and we love coming here.”
JP McMANUS’ colours were also carried to victory on Cougar in the Value Cabs 3-Y-O Hurdle. The 5/6 favourite doubled his tally over flights when pushed out by Mark Walsh to assert by three lengths. Trainer Padraig Roche said: “He was plenty keen which wouldn’t be like him. He jumped great and it’s great to have a horse like him in the yard. He doesn’t mind the (testing) conditions and is a horse to look forward to.”
Nibiru and Phillip Enright took the honours by a short-head in the Grade B Charles Hurst DS Handicap Hurdle. The 13/2 shot stayed on in third from the final flight to collar Watch The Weather for owner John Breslin.
Tony Martin said: “He has plenty of ability and a little bit of a mind of his own. Everyone gets a bit fed up with him at times, but on his day he’s very good. Phillip was very good on him today and it worked out great. He has earned his keep again.”