Thursday 22 February 2018

Sceaux far so good

Un De Sceaux ridden by Ruby Walsh goes on to win the Ryanair Novice Chase
Un De Sceaux ridden by Ruby Walsh goes on to win the Ryanair Novice Chase

Un De Sceaux predictably proved too good for his opponents in the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown.

Three from three over fences since falling on his chasing debut, the Arkle Trophy winner was a 1-10 favourite for his latest Grade One assignment and his task was made even easier when second favourite Smashing bolted on the way to the start and was withdrawn.

The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old soon adopted his customary front-running role in the hands of Ruby Walsh and gradually wound up the gallop.

Un De Sceaux turned for home still hard on the bridle and although Micky Hammond's British raider Just Cameron ran a magnificent race to fill the runner-up spot, the market leader was always doing enough to make it 13 starts unbeaten when he has completed.

Walsh said: "The ground has dried all day and it was on the quick side for him, I just want him to be OK in the morning.

"He was deliberate at the first and high at the second.

"They've put plenty of water on but it's a glorious day and has been drying all the time."

Mullins said: "It was a nice performance but I'd be very wary of running him on ground that fast again.

"What more can he do. That's it for the season now.

"When the other horse came to him at the last Ruby had to shake him up but when he did shake him up he was fine. He wasn't too keen on the ground.

"I thought he made one or two errors and wasn't jumping half as well as he did at Cheltenham. I think he was just feeling the ground.

"All horses have their pressures but he's a tough horse to watch with his style of racing.

"There are no plans. I'm happy to get out to grass with him and we'll try and work back from the spring next season.

"He had the potential after his hurdling experience and answered the calling everyday except for Thurles.

"It's never good to see them fall and although that probably taught him a little manners you'd hope he could learn that without falling."

Press Association

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