Roi Du Mee springs surprise to take Champion Chase at Down Royal
Bryan Cooper made the most of his spare ride on Roi Du Mee, who ran out an impressive winner of the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.
Cooper switched to Gordon Elliott's charge after his original mount Quito De La Roque was withdrawn and duly made all in the Grade One contest over three miles.
First Lieutenant, ridden by Davy Russell, carried the first colours of owners Gigginstown House Stud, but Roi Du Mee (12-1), fit from two starts last month, altered the script.
Cooper was able to dictate matters on the eight-year-old and Roi Du Mee steadily pulled well away from his rivals to land the spoils in emphatic fashion from the gallant Sizing Europe, who was finishing second in the race for the third time.
Cooper said: "His jumping was unreal and I was confident the whole way. He's a tough horse and he showed today how good he is. He could have done with some company in front as he didn't do a lot."
Elliott, whose other runner Mount Benbulben fell four out, said: "He's some little horse, he's a little terrier. I felt sorry for Mount Benbulben. I had my eye on him, then he fell.
"I thought I had this fella in good form, but I felt we were in for third our fourth place today ."