run­ners dur­ing the Breed­ers’ Cup at Del Mar, Cal­i­for­nia

Horse & Hound - - Contents -

THE huge crowd that flocked to Down Royal for North­ern Ire­land’s top race­day had a thrilling spec­ta­cle served up in the JNwine.com Chase, as some of Ire­land’s best put down their mark­ers in the first Grade One chase of the sea­son, but pos­si­bly not the one ex­pected.

The ex­cit­ing seven-year-old Our Duke — touted as a Gold

Cup prospect af­ter run­ning away with the Ir­ish Grand Na­tional in April — flopped, leav­ing 16-1 shot Out­lander and 7-2 sec­ond­favourite Road To Re­spect, both in the Gig­gin­stown ma­roon colours, to fight it out from the back of the se­cond-last.

Vic­tory, by half a length, went to the Gor­don El­liott-trained Out­lander, who has a spe­cial place in the af­fec­tions of his young rider Jack Kennedy: “He gave me my first Grade One win in the Lexus last sea­son,” he said. “And now this — he’s one of my favourites and one I’ll never for­get.”

The Stow­away nine-year-old, who un­der­went surgery to sort out a kiss­ing spine dur­ing the sum­mer, had pro­duced a dull dis­play be­hind Road To Re­spect on his come­back last month, but a day’s hunt­ing and first-time cheek­pieces did the trick, as his con­fi­dence seemed re­stored.

Road To Re­spect’s sta­ble­mate, Disko, pre­sented his own cre­den­tials for the best stay­ing chases in the Grade Two, two-anda-half miler. The ex­u­ber­ant grey French-bred made ev­ery yard and held Bal­ly­oisin by a cosy halflength un­der a hands-and-heels ride from Sean Flana­gan.

Out­lander over­hauls Road To Re­spect in the JNwine.com Chase

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