Synch motors to Lexus glory
Published 28/12/2011 | 17:32
Jonjo O'Neill's Synchronised (8/1) burst a few bubbles in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown under Tony McCoy.
Rubi Light was tackling the three-mile trip for the first time, having landed the John Durkan earlier this month, but despite travelling strongly and jumping fluently, he had no answer when Synchronised came to challenge him at the top of the straight and the British raider swept clear in impressive style.
Quito De La Roque, the 13-8 favourite, was going for a sixth consecutive victory and was last seen beating Sizing Europe at Down Royal. He, too, went well for a long way, but had to make do with third spot.
Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus, said of the eight-and-a-half-length winner: "That's brilliant. Jonjo has done a fantastic job and he got a great ride. I thought the ground might be too quick for him but he handled it really well. In fairness, he ran well in his two hurdle races on good ground.
"He had 11st 11lb in the Welsh National at Chepstow and it was going to be a slog, so we made the decision to come here. I was a bit worried about the ground but we decided to take our chance. That gives us an idea of where we are going with him and we can look at some of the good races.
"He gets the trip and he jumps, and he'll get an entry in the Gold Cup. We'll leave it to Jonjo and we'll wait and see. He had a hard enough race there and more than likely will go straight to Cheltenham. He'll also get an entry in the English Grand National."
McCoy added: "We were a little worried about the ground drying up, but Jonjo was happy to come here for him. He's got great stamina, and that's really what brought out the best of him. If he does happen to run in the Gold Cup he won't disgrace himself."
Rubi Light's trainer Robbie Hennessy was not too despondent, saying: "We know he definitely stays three miles. He could go for the Red Mills or the Hennessy."
Colm Murphy, trainer of Quito De La Roque, said: "I was very pleased. He would prefer more of a test. He ran well for a second-season novice and we'll look at the Hennessy now."