Thursday 25 May 2017

Sir Des Champs defies absence to win in style

Jockey Bryan Cooper
Jockey Bryan Cooper
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Sir Des Champs is firmly back in the big-race picture after an assured return to action at Thurles yesterday.

Willie Mullins's 2013 Gold Cup runner-up had been sidelined due to injury since finishing a sub-par fourth to Bobs Worth in that year's Lexus Chase.

The nine-year-old was a well-backed 11/10 favourite to overcome his lay-off against inferior rivals in the aptly named Boomerang Chase, and duly won in style.

Sir Des Champs readily reeled in the long-time leader Rubi Light to win going away under Bryan Cooper, and now joins fellow Gigginstown Stud horses like Don Cossack, Road To Riches and Don Poli as a serious contender for the major staying chases.

"I'm very happy with that," Mullins admitted. "He loves racing like that and it took him a mile-and-a-half or two miles to warm up. He was getting all the allowances and had his trip and ground. He hasn't given me a moment's worry since he came back but I didn't work him for this race. He'll probably run in the Lexus next."

Cooper missed out on a double by choosing Just Cause over Gordon Elliott's Roman Gold (7/2) in the novices' hurdle, the latter prevailing decisively for Jack Kennedy.

Mullins doubled up when Myska (4/7) hacked up for Ruby Walsh in the mares' maiden hurdle, and Walsh completed a brace by foiling the gambled-on Lake Field aboard Pat Fahy's 6/1 shot Micras in the handicap hurdle.

Micras had to survive a stewards' inquiry before being called the winner, as did Long House Island in the preceding event. The 2/1 favourite was trained and ridden by Denis Hogan. In the beginners' chase, with Moyle Park and Net D'Ecosse early casualties, Jessica Harrington's Ttebbob (3/1) proceeded to run out an impressive winner for Robbie Power.

Irish Independent

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