Snow Falcon clung on grimly to claim top honours in a thrilling renewal of the Guinness Kerry National at Listowel on Wednesday.
A field of 18 runners went to post for the €200,000 feature and for a long way it looked like the heavily backed Rogue Angel would provide Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud with a third successive victory.
Originally a reserve before eventually making the cut, the 7/2 favourite travelled with exuberance and fenced fluently under Rachael Blackmore and had opened up a big advantage over the rest of the field at the halfway stage.
However, his lead was steadily reduced and it was clear from the home turn he would have to settle for minor honours.
Noel Meade’s Snow Falcon, last seen finishing fourth in the Galway Plate, was a 6/1 shot under Jonathan Moore and was travelling strongly at the top of the straight.
The Willie Mullins-trained Saturnas gradually closed the gap and was rattling home after the final fence, but Snow Falcon had just enough in reserve to score by a neck.
Rogue Angel was third, with Dell’ Arca faring best of the British challengers in fourth.
The stewards held an inquiry into possible interference in the closing stages but the result was confirmed.
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