NEVILLE HOTELS NOVICE
CHASE (Grade 1)
A MEETING of high drama served up yet further incident as Shattered Love claimed this Grade 1 prize at Leopardstown on Friday where the evens favourite Monalee crashed out with six to jump.
A second top level success of the week for jockey Mark Walsh and one of three for Gordon Elliott, this admirable mare hasn’t put a foot wrong since going chasing and her assured and unrelenting style was seen to excellent effect. Beforehand this looked an ideal opportunity for Monalee to confirm his position as one of the season’s top staying novices. However, he got in much too close to the sixth last fence and fell, bringing down the joint second favourite Rathvinden.
It was at this point of the race that Shattered Love had moved purposefully to the front and the departures of two key rivals left Elliott’s mare, her stablemate Jury Duty and Bon Papa as the foremost contenders for this three miles prize.
Once again, a long run for home faced the contestants with the last being omitted and Shattered Love showed that stamina is her forte.
The daughter of Yeats cleared the fence before the turn-in with Jury Duty and Bon Papa in close proximity but neither of those opponents were ever able to get on terms. A gritty Jury Duty stuck to his task gamely and went down by just a length and three quarters while there was a further 16 lengths back to Bon Papa.
“She’s a grand, big, honest mare and she’s handled this better ground much better than I thought she would which will hopefully open up a few more options for her later in the season,” commented Elliott.
“I’m not quite sure where she will go now but she’s got a lot of options and could always step back into mares company if the opportunity presented itself.”
“She stays very well and she galloped out to the line well - this trip suits her well. It’s great to get a Grade 1 with her and I was really pleased with Jury Duty too. He’s a good, honest staying horse and he’s given a good account of himself,” added Elliott.
Fresh from his win on Simply Ned, Mark Walsh capped a fine meeting with this success which was his first victory in the Gigginstown House Stud colours.
“She’s a lovely mare and I think it would have taken a very good one to get by me today. She just jumped and galloped and loved it out in front when she got there with six to jump,” reflected Walsh. “Gordon just said to jump her off handy and let her jumping take her there and she’s done that very nicely.”
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