Wednesday 12 December 2018

WATCH: Joseph O'Brien's Tower Bridge springs a surprise to land first Grade One of the Dublin racing festival

Eventual winner, Tower Bridge, with J J Slevin up, left, jumps the last on their first time round during the Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle during Day 1 of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown Racecourse in Leopardstown, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Eventual winner, Tower Bridge, with J J Slevin up, left, jumps the last on their first time round during the Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle during Day 1 of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown Racecourse in Leopardstown, Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Tower Bridge swooped late to win the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle, the opening event of the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.

The Joseph O'Brien-trained runner was the outsider of the seven-strong field and J J Slevin had him switched off at the back of the pack as Paul Townend set out to make all on 7-4 favourite Fabulous Saga.

The latter had built up a substantial lead and was still five lengths clear with three to jump, but Dicey O'Reilly was leading the chase and Fabulous Saga was clearly out of gas coming to the last.

It looked as though Jetz had stolen the advantage up the inside, but Slevin delivered the 25-1 winner down the middle of the track on the run to the line and Tower Bridge kept responding, eventually shading it on the line.

Slevin, winning his first Grade One, said: "It's great to get the chance to ride those horses, it's unbelievable really.

"Joseph clearly knows what he's doing and it was a big call to run a maiden in a race like that. His form over hurdles was solid.

"He won well. He travelled well and jumped well, he stuck his neck out well and galloped all the way to the line."

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