Saturday 21 July 2018

WATCH - Monbeg Notorious lands gamble to give Gordon Elliott his first Thyestes Chase success

Monbeg Notorius, with Jack Kennedy up, on their way to winning the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase after jumping the last during the Gowran Park Races in Gowran Park, Co Kilkenny. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Monbeg Notorius, with Jack Kennedy up, on their way to winning the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Steeplechase after jumping the last during the Gowran Park Races in Gowran Park, Co Kilkenny. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Trainer Gordon Elliott. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Gordon Elliott finally broke his Goffs Thyestes Chase duck with Monbeg Notorious (7/2 favourite) justifying strong market support to take the €100,000 feature prize at Gowran Park today.

Very few lucrative Irish handicap prizes have eluded the Meath trainer but in the hands of Jack Kennedy, Monbeg Notorious travelled strongly before surging clear in testing conditions to finish 11 lengths to the good with Wounded Warrior in second and another Elliott runner Space Cadet back in third.

Monbeg Notorious' next assignment is likely to be the Irish Grand National as Elliott enhanced his Irish trainer's championship lead over 11-time champion Willie Mullins with another big win.

Elsewhere, the Pat Kelly-trained Presenting Percy cemented his Cheltenham Festival claims when streaking to success in the day's other big race - the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle.

In the hands of Davy Russell, last year's Pertemps Final winner cruised up alongside long-time leader Alpha Des Obeaux in the home straight before seeing off the threat of Willie Mullins' Augusta Kate to come home five and a half lengths in front.

Owned by Philip Reynolds, son of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, Presenting Percy is likely to switch back to fences for his next assignment has been cut to 7/2 with Paddy Power for the RSA Chase in March as he bids for back-to-back Festival wins.

Kennedy said: "He never missed a beat the whole way. He jumped and travelled and I was probably left in front a bit soon, but he dug deep and kept galloping.

"All he does is stay really, but today I was quite surprised by how well he travelled. Today was definitely his day.

"Any other 18-year-old would kill to be the position I'm in. I'm very lucky."

Elliott said: "It's great when it works out. It's great for Jack, for me, Gigginstown and for the horse. I think we've won nearly all the big staying chases in Ireland now.

"It was his first run in handicap, so it was a bit of a worry, but it's worked out great. Everyone is happy.

"He's a big galloper. He's won a Thyestes Chase now and whatever happens now will be a bonus.

"He's a bit of a character at home and doesn't do anything too fancy, but he loves that soft ground and jumped and galloped them into the ground.

"In beginners' chases he's been having to do his own donkey work and he's lairy in front. Today he had something to aim at and it worked out great."

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