Drinmore Novice Chase (Grade 1)

SOME 12 years after he last won the race, Noel Meade struck gold in the Drinmore Novice Chase once more as Beacon Edge bagged the top-level success that his talents have merited with an effort that owed as much to grit and determination as it did class.

This was a Drinmore where there were no hiding places as Gabynako went a searching tempo on lively enough ground and this exposed any frailties amongst the eight-runner field.

Indeed, there were times when several of the contestants appeared to be barely hanging in and one of those was Beacon Edge (7/2).

He was somewhat slow at the seventh last fence and dropped back to the rear of the main group but a masterful Denis O’Regan bided his time and kept him in the reckoning albeit the pair looked to have place prospects at best jumping the third last. Up front though, Gabynako’s efforts began to tell and he looked set to be picked off by Fury Road in between the last two fences.

All the while Beacon Edge and O’Regan, riding his first Grade 1 winner in eight years, were creeping closer.

Fury Road led at the last but he was all out at this stage and he could muster no response as his fellow Gigginstown House Stud-owned runner swept by to pull off a famous success.

At the line, Beacon Edge had a length and a quarter to spare over Gabynako, with Fury Road a head back in third.

“They went a strong gallop and he probably outstayed them. The ground is a bit quick for them and he may have gotten tapped for toe but after two out I started shouting as I felt that they had gone very quick and from his hurdling days I knew there was very little between him and Fury Road,” declared Meade.

“I wouldn’t say he jumped brilliantly but he jumped reasonably well. We had planned to be a bit closer but he was going as quick as he could.

“You’d have to think three miles is his trip and the three-mile Grade 1 at Leopardstown over Christmas would look the obvious race to aim towards with him,” added the trainer.