SOMETIMES horses struggle to gain credit for their achievements, the detractors looking to find excuses for the failure of the opposition or indeed, to crab their standard.

That was the way with Simply Ned for a while but one sensed a genuine appreciation for the durability and set-your-clock-by-him consistency of the Nicky Richards-trained gelding when he made light of a five-year age gap and powered past Footpad after the last to land the spoils in the Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase at Leopardstown for the second consecutive season at Christmas.