Growise Champion Novice Chase (Grade 1) 3m 1f
- (5yo+, 3m 1f, Class 1, 8 runners)
- Winner €49,600 2nd €15,200 3rd €7,200 4th €2,400 5th €1,600
- Going: Soft, Heavy in places
- Surface: Turf
- Winning time: 6m 45.20s
- Off time: 18:40:37
|1st||6 Mount Benbulben||14/1|
|2nd||7 Tofino Bay||22||9/1|
|3rd||5 Lyreen Legend||hd||8/1|
Back In Focus (IRE) 41
|8||164 11-10||W P Mullins||R Walsh||152||2/1f|
Boston Bob (IRE) 41
|8||164 11-10 t1||W P Mullins||P Townend||154||4/1|
Dedigout (IRE) 23
|7||164 11-10 t||A J Martin||D N Russell||147||9/2|
Harry Topper 52
|6||164 11-10||K C Bailey||J M Maguire||152||9/2|
Lyreen Legend (IRE) 41
|6||164 11-10||D T Hughes||B J Cooper||152||8/1|
Mount Benbulben (IRE) 23
|8||164 11-10||G Elliott||D E Mullins||147||14/1|
Tofino Bay (IRE) 41
|10||164 11-10 p||D T Hughes||A E Lynch||151||9/1|
Argocat (IRE) 16
|5||155 11-1||T J Taaffe||B J Geraghty||146||16/1|
Sir Des Champs (FR)
||6||11-10||W P Mullins||D N Russell||2/7|
BACK IN FOCUS wasn't suited by the quicker ground despite landing the 4m National Hunt Chase at The Festival and it was his staying power and determination that saw him catch Tofino Bay. The form of that race could hardly have worked out better with third-placed Godsmejudge winning the Scottish National and Willie Mullins' charge can gain his fifth successive victory. Tofino Bay will have no problems dropping back in trip though he was a long way behind the selection at Leopardstown in December as was Dedigout, who was having his only start over tonight's trip on that occasion. Lyreen Legend was 4l behind Back In Focus here in November but definitely improved when runner-up to Lord Windermere in the RSA Chase and has more scope than most. Harry Topper had looked a very smart prospect when winning his first three races over fences and should be forgiven his mishap at Kelso. Boston Bob also represents the champion trainer and he's an obvious threat to all as he was still in the lead when falling at the last in the RSA.
Mount Benbulben (IRE) 4-1 (11-10) Held up in rear, in touch on inner when mistake 2 out, soon ridden, 4th 2 out, 3rd before last, no extra run-in, 4th of 6, 5l behind Realt Mor (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f nov chs G1 (1) sft in Mar.
Tofino Bay (IRE) 8-1 (11-6) Pecked 2nd, pressed leader on outside, driven to lead narrowly after 3 out, narrow advantage when left 3 lengths clear next, ridden and stride shortened flat, headed and no extra towards finish, 2nd of 16, 1/2l behind Back In Focus (11-6) at Cheltenham 4m am nov chs (2) gs in Mar.
Lyreen Legend (IRE) 10-1 (11-4) Held up in touch, headway after 4 out, challenged after next, every chance when left in lead last, ridden and headed flat, kept on, 2nd of 11, 1 3/4l behind Lord Windermere (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m nov chs G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Back In Focus (IRE) 9-4fav (11-6) Tracked leaders, hit 20th, driven and outpaced in 3rd after 3 out, left 3 lengths 2nd next, ridden and rallied flat, stayed on to lead towards finish, won at Cheltenham 4m am nov chs (2) gs in Mar beating Tofino Bay (11-6) by 1/2l, 16 ran.
Argocat (IRE) 2-5fav (10-13) Soon chased sole rival, niggled along to close approaching straight, on terms travelling best before 2 out, soon led, stayed on well to assert from last, comfortably, won at Limerick 3m nov chs G2 (1) gd beating Shabra Charity (10-10) by 5l, 3 ran.
Boston Bob (IRE) 5-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders on inside, lost place 12th, driven and headway on outside to lead after 3 out, switched inside approaching next, narrow advantage and staying on when fell last, in a race won by Lord Windermere (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m nov chs G1 (1) gs in Mar, 11 ran.
Dedigout (IRE) 11-4fav (11-10) Held up in rear, ridden from 3 out, last entering straight, 5th 2 out, went 4th at last, stayed on to go 2nd run-in, 2nd of 6, 2 1/2l behind Realt Mor (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f nov chs G1 (1) sft in Mar.
Harry Topper 4-5fav (11-8) Raced wide, went prominent at 3rd, disputed 3rd when blundered badly and unseated rider 9th, in a race won by Always Right (11-2) at Kelso 2m 7f lst chs (1) sft in Mar, 8 ran.