Toner D’Oudairies proves best as Gigginstown has clean sweep
First Lieutenant faded into third place
Gordon Elliott: “It was touch and go whether we ran Toner (on the ground)”
Toner D’Oudairies may not have been the most-fancied contender for Gigginstown House Stud, but he proved the best on the day as he led a clean sweep of the places for the leading owner in the Star Best For Racing Chase at Punchestown.
The race saw the return of the top-class First Lieutenant but Mouse Morris had warned prior to the contest that his stable star may need the run and while he held every chance at the last, he faded into third.
Roi Du Mee, seeking a hat-trick in the race, was there to be shot at in the straight under Davy Condon and he looked like holding on until well after the last when fellow Gordon Elliott inmate Toner D’Oudairies (8/1) quickened up for Bryan Cooper to win by three-quarters of a length.
Cooper only got the ride when his intended mount Tofino Bay was pulled out due to the ground.
Elliott said: “It was touch and go whether we even ran Toner (on the ground) and I was hoping Roi would win as he tries his heart out and fell the last day. He lost nothing in defeat. Toner nearly went to the sales the other week.
“He doesn’t have much confidence in bigger fields. We’ve won this race for the last three years which is great. This was his Gold Cup today, he’ll probably follow the route we take with Roi Du Mee.”
Art Of Logistics looks an exciting young horse for Dessie Hughes and Cooper this season after comfortably landing the Buck House Novice Chase.
Won by subsequent Arkle runner-up Baily Green 12 months ago, a select field was assembled but Takestan fell at the first and Saint Gervais was another early casualty.
Six Stone Ned set a decent pace throughout and despite Art Of Logistics briefly looking in trouble on the home turn, he soon came back on the bridle and was not hard pressed to come home a five-and-a-half-length winner as the even-money favourite.
Hughes had earlier struck with the Gigginstown-owned Somethingwonderful (15/8) in the Buy Your 2014 Annual Badge Maiden Hurdle.
Jessica Harrington’s Cailin Annamh (8/11 favourite) won for the fifth time in her last seven starts when staying on strongly to win the Grade Three Grabel Mares Hurdle.
Tabhachtach (7/1) stayed on powerfully after the final flight to win the 10 euro Admission All Non Festival Racedays Handicap Hurdle.
Too Late To Sell was a 14/1 winner in the Ingoldsby (Q.R.) Handicap Chase while Neck Or Nothing (16/1) landed the closing equuslive.com Flat Race.