Savills Chase report: Kemboy wins for Willie Mullins

Kemboy sprints away from his rivals

Kemboy produced a coming-of-age performance to impressively win the Grade One Savills Chase at Leopardstown.

The six-year-old was sent off a well-backed 8/1 chance under David Mullins and the jockey took the bull by the horns with a move to take up the running with a circuit to travel.

He dictated the tempo from that point and despite a bunch of strong stayers looming up behind him turning for home, Kemboy showed a sparkling turn of foot to skip away again and, after popping the last in good style, he stayed on strongly to win by seven and a half lengths from 11/2 shot Monalee.

Third went to last year's winner Road To Respect (9/4 favourite), who appeared slightly unlucky having slipped on the bend and lost several lengths before almost managing to get himself back into the picture under Sean Flanagan.

Sky Bet reacted by cutting the winner from 40/1 to 8/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, a race his trainer Willie Mullins is yet to win in an otherwise glittering career.

Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "After Clan Des Obeaux emerged onto the Gold Cup scene in the King George, we have another scintillating performance from a really nice young horse who looks to have improved enormously this season.

"Kemboy is into 8/1 for the Gold Cup and I suspect we'll see plenty of interest after a win like that at Leopardstown."

Click on the image below for Sky Bet's updated Cheltenham Gold Cup odds...

Kemboy measures the last beautifully

David Mullins said: "We were going very, very slow and even when I hit the front with a lap to go, we were still going slow.

"Everything went to plan really except we had to just let him go, nobody took me on. He jumped well and there is still plenty to improve on I think. He could be a proper horse."

It had been a mixed day for the Willie Mullins yard prior to the race, typified by Faugheen's fall after some costly defeats both earlier on the card and over at Limerick.

"I don't think a winner was ever so badly wanted, the way our horses were running today, a good few of them have been just a bit off form so it was fantastic," said Mullins.

"When I saw David going on past the stand, I was thinking about what choice words I was going to say to him afterwards, but he said they just slowed down the race too much and his horse was keen.

"He thought he got an easy lead in front, which obviously it was because he still had plenty left in the tank coming to the last, and the way he flew up the hill after the last was very good."

Mullins continued: "This horse has improved, obviously. We didn't bring him to the Ladbrokes Trophy in Newbury. I was afraid of the ground, and carrying that type of weight as well, it would take a long time to recover from it so I said we'd just bank on coming for a big race like this off level weights (instead).

"Conditions didn't really suit him, but he had improved at home and we said we'd just give him his chance to be a good horse and if not, we could always go back and do something else.

"His mark was probably gone. When you're nearly top-weight in the Ladbroke - he probably was top-weight in the Ladbroke - when you have a horse at that level, you've got to either (go on to) be a good horse or you fall back down the ranks and he's made the step up to be a good horse.

"We have given him such a break from Clonmel to here that we might give him a break the whole way to Cheltenham and go there with a fresh horse."

GET THE FULL PICTURE: Don't miss out on FREE video replays and our fantastic My Stable tracker. Log in now and become a Sporting Life Insider.

Related horse racing links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Racing