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VIDEO: Kilcruit avenges Cheltenham defeat
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VIDEO: Kilcruit avenges Cheltenham defeat
on 28 April 2021
Derek O'Connor was in the plate on the Grade 1 Champion Bumper winner at Punchestown, as Patrick Mullins switched to Sir Gerhard

Kilcruit made amends for his Cheltenham Festival defeat by winning the Grade 1 ITM Champion Bumper at Punchestown on Wednesday.

Derek O'Connor was on board the Willie Mullins-trained winners, as Patrick Mullins opted instead to ride stable companion Sir Gerhard, who had been successful at Cheltenham but had to settle for third spot here.

Dividing the pair was the Stuart Crawford-trained O'Toole, who ran a very promising race at big odds to get within four lengths of the winner and finish three quarters of a length in front of Sir Gerhard.

Lake Winnipesaukee set a strong pace but weakened over half a mile out. Kilcruit (11/8) and Sir Gerhard (5/6) soon had it between them, and it was the older horse who found most in the closing stages.

O'Connor, who was winning the race for the first time, said: "Patrick (Mullins) told me I was on a better stayer (than Sir Gerhard) and it turned into a staying race. The ground is deceptively well watered and rides quite tiring."

The winner was bred by the trainer's mother, Maureen, and is owned by Michael Masterson, who also owns top novice hurdler Appreciate It.

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