THE Saddler’s Hall gelding Jadanli caused a major upset when landing Thursday’s Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park, getting the better of Tarquinius in a thrilling finish., writes Ned Tierney.
Unconsidered at 25/1, the 11-year-old had not won a race since taking the Powers Gold Cup almost three years ago, but had finished third in last year’s contest at the Kilkenny track. Backers of some of the fancied horses knew their fate early as joint favourite The Westerner Boy, which was the mount of Tony McCoy, crashed out at the first fence in the straight with a circuit to race after an unhappy round of jumping.
A fence later Ruby Walsh was catapulted out of the saddle when Bishopsfurze blundered badly. The quietly-fancied Shark Hanlon runner Murchu was still there with a shout when making a bad mistake and unseating his rider four fences out.
While all this was happening Jadanli raced just off the pace. Rider Andrew Lynch had him in contention turning to face the judge and, in a welter of excitement, he held on long enough to shade the verdict by a head.
There were jubilant scenes in the winners enclosure as Jadanli, owned by Eamonn Gilligan and trained by his son Paul near Athenry, made his way into the circle. The horse is considered something a family pet, mainly because he has spent half his life on the injured list having broken down twice as well as suffering from other ailments.
Mouth watering clash
The winning trainer told me that he will make an entry for his charge in the Aintree Grand National as well as the Irish equivalent. However, the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse is likely to be the next port of call.
The clash of the Willie Mullins-trained Zaidpour and the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Bog Warrior in the three mile Grade Two Galmoy Hurdle was a race of the mouth-watering variety. Both runners had a point to prove as we approach decision time ahead of the Cheltenham festival.
Having won the race a year ago Zaidpour showed that the trip was well within his grasp but Bog Warrior, which had an unhappy time over fences, was having his attempt at the distance but had a couple of spectacular victories since reverting to the smaller obstacles.
Rider Davy Russell took the bull by the horns right from the drop of the flag and sent Bog Warrior into the lead with Zaidpour racing in his slipstream. This pair drew steadily clear from their two other rivals in the straight and with Bog Warrior keeping up the gallop Zaidpour was never able to get on terms, finishing three and a quarter lengths adrift at the line.
This was a high class display by the winner, who was not exactly foot perfect at times. Winning trainer Tony Martin told me that he will have to discuss the situation with the owners about the Cheltenham festival as the horse will not be risked on anything faster than good ground.
Reward for followers
He will be entered up from the Ryanair Chase to the World Hurdle, however. Given his past experiences over fences the latter contest seems the most likely target.
Willie Mullins rewarded his huge army of followers by recording a brace. Both were at restricted odds so only those brave enough to trade at these kind of odds showed a profit.
Dogora drew first blood with a hard-earned victory in the opening four-year-old hurdle when he beat Dalasiri by a head. This pair had the race to themselves from the home turn and the pendulum swung both ways before Ruby Walsh forced Dogora up in the final strides to take the money by a head.
With several decent juvenile hurdlers under his care it will be interesting to see where the winner features in the Mullins pecking order for the Triumph Hurdle, but the vibes suggested that he might well stay at home and take in Fairyhouse instead.
Sizing Tennessee completed the double with a comfortable success in the bumper. Making every yard of the running under the trainer’s son Patrick, the five-year-old had three lengths or so to spare over Kandinski and so booked his ticket for the Champion Bumper at the Cotswolds.
Eoin Doyle had an expensive failure in the two mile maiden hurdle when Bell Weir failed to confirm his Cork Bumper form with Curvacious and had to be content with second place. However, Doyle’s losses were recouped when Lookoutnow captured the two mile and four handicap chase.
Given a positive ride by Mikey Butler, the Beneficial gelding was always at the head of affairs. Skipping clear before the straight, the winner finished in splendid isolation 16 lengths ahead of Prince Of Leisure.
Clearly relishing the testing ground Lookoutnow is a hugely consistent and versatile animal. He had taken his time to adapt to chasing, but on this evidence looks likely to add to his collection.