Fortria Chase (Grade 2) 2m

  • (5yo+, 2m, Class 1, 5 runners)
  • Winner €24,375 2nd €7,125 3rd €3,374 4th €1,125
  • Going: Yielding to Soft, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 18.70s
  • Off time: 14:50:14

Full Result

14:50 Navan
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 1 Big Zeb (IRE) C A Murphy 10 11-12 R M Power 6/5
SP 6/5 Tracked leader in 2nd, improved to lead after 3 out, ridden 2 out, strongly pressed from last, asserted close home opened 11/10 touched 5/4
2nd 2 2 Noble Prince (GER) P Nolan 7 11-7 D N Russell Evsf
SP Evsf Settled 4th, closed up 3 out, soon 3rd, ridden in 2nd 2 out, pressed winner from last, no extra close home, just held 2nd opened 11/10
3rd hd 3 Forpadydeplasterer (IRE) T Cooper 9 11-4 B J Cooper 8/1
SP 8/1 Led, slight mistake 5th, ridden and headed after 3 out, kept on, close 3rd last, pressed leaders run-in, no extra close home, just held for 2nd
4th 14 5 Trafford Lad L Butler 9 11-4 t A E Lynch 25/1
SP 25/1 Chased leaders in 3rd, ridden and no extra 3 out, 4th 2 out, kept on one pace opened 33/1
5th 4 Predateur (FR) J J Lambe 8 11-4 pt R C Colgan 66/1
SP 66/1 Held up in rear, ridden and no impression 3 out, kept on one pace

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £1.80 Tote Place £1.02 £1.50 Straight Forecast £2.98 Exacta £2.80

Analysis

A fine performance from BIG ZEB to complete a hat-trick in this contest despite his trainer's concerns that he would need the run and that the ground was on the soft side. He didn't make a semblance of a mistake in behind a very steady gallop set by Forpadydeplasterer and was well on top at the line but it didn't look like being that straightforward from the second last. The placed horses were travelling strongly in behind at that stage and produced a sustained challenge but the former Champion Chaser pulled a couple of lengths clear after the last and was always doing enough to maintain that advantage to the line. His jockey reported that they were never going quickly enough for him and that he idled when in front which was an increasingly noticeable tendency last season. He may be 10 years of age but he hasn't got all that many miles on the clock and looked as good as ever here; Moscow Flyer won the Champion Chase at the age of 11 and, whilst he may not be in the same class as Jessica Harrington's star, there aren't any obvious young pretenders coming through the ranks and he should go to Cheltenham holding every chance once again. Neither the trip nor the ground were ideal for Noble Prince who had duly converted an easy opportunity on his reappearance. He travelled strongly in behind the pace and looked the biggest threat approaching the last but couldn't pick up in the closing stages. Connections did put this down to the ground but offered no excuses opining that they were beaten by the better horse. He looked throughout his novice season as though this trip was too short for him and duly looked a different horse when stepped up in trip on spring ground at Cheltenham and Fairyhouse. There was a lot to like about this performance and there will be plenty of other days for the son of Montjeu. As popular as the winner's success was, it was also heartwarming to see Forpadydeplasterer returning to form. Last month, he was declared to have returned clinically abnormal by the vet on his first start since pulling up in the King George when he was found to be suffering from a fibrillating heart. This was much more like it and this smart performer - albeit one who has been a perennial bridesmaid - should continue to provide his enthusiastic owners with plenty of enjoyment if remaining sound though his best days are behind him. That is also the case with Trafford Lad who has shown relatively little in the last couple of seasons since suffering an injury.