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VIDEO: Delta Work outbattles Monalee for Savills prize
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VIDEO: Delta Work outbattles Monalee for Savills prize
on 28 December 2019
The win gave jockey Jack Kennedy a Grade 1 double amid three winners on the card

DELTA Work came with a thundering late run to deny the gallant Monalee in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown.

Monalee had jumped for fun out in front for Rachael Blackmore and appeared to have everything on the stretch running down to the last.

Delta Work (11/2) looked booked for a place at best turning into the straight as Jack Kennedy, who also took the other Grade 1 feature on Apple’s Jade as part of a treble, was asking his mount for everything.

Kemboy, who had been keen throughout, Road To Respect, Presenting Percy and the outsider Jett all held chances at some stage, but Monalee had seemingly seen them all off.

Unfortunately for Blackmore, she lost an iron after the last and kicked the other one free as Delta Work began to close. There was nothing in it at the line, but Delta Work got the verdict by a head. Road To Respect was third.

The winner was cut to 10/1 from 25s for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March by Betfair.

“It’s great. We missed a bit of time after Down Royal and thought he’d come on from the run today,” said Elliott. “Jack is riding out of his skin. He had a few hard injuries and it’s good to see him back riding like this. He’s a top-class jockey.

"Michael (O’Leary, owner), Anita and all the kids are here today. It’s their first day racing this year and we have to produce winners and keep them coming.

“I knew there was a good bit of improvement in him. Maybe that’s the way to train him and maybe I was training him wrong last year. I was happy and said we were going to finish third or fourth and run a nice race.

“When he jumped the last and Jack pulled it out, he got over closer to the other horses (and) he really put his head out.

“He’s won a couple of Grade 1s already and now to win one like this is something else. We thought he was a Gold Cup horse and obviously our bubble got burst in Down Royal, but we’re not gone yet.

“You’ve got to have faith in your horses. I’m very lucky that I’ve got a lot of good horses, brilliant staff and great owners. It’s a big team effort.

"This is where we want to be. Leopardstown is the cream of jumps racing in Ireland. I went home with my tail between my legs on the first day with no winner, but we haven’t looked back since. When you get put down as many times as I have, you have to keep getting up.”

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