Cadmium justifies favouritism to book his Cheltenham ticket
Chosen Mate lands dramatic success in the novice hurdle at Naas
Cadmium: booked his ticket to the Grand Annual Chase at Cheltenham in winning the WhatOddsPaddy? Chase at Naas. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old was given a searching test by Gordon Elliott’s Doctor Phoenix, before eventually asserting to land the odds as the 4-6 favourite.
There was all to play for at the last, but Cadmium got on top close home under Paul Townend and was three lengths to the good over Davy Russell’s mount at the line in the two-mile Grade Three contest.
Mullins said: “He’ll probably go for the Grand Annual at Cheltenham. It probably won’t help his mark with the weights still to come out, but it’s a nice race to win here today.”
Townend added of the Supreme Horse Racing Club-owned gelding: “We were at the start a long time and he was alive down there. The owners are a big enthusiastic syndicate and the likes of him keep them going.”
Bookmaker Paddy Power left Cadmium unchanged at 14-1 for the Grand Annual.
Elliott and Russell had better luck in the preceding race, as Chosen Mate just held on to land a dramatic success in the Paddy Power Onside App Novice Hurdle at Naas.
Hannon came with a flying finish, but the post came just in time for the 9-10 favourite, who hung on by a nose to lift the Grade Two prize.
Chosen Mate looked likely to gain a cosy victory when gradually raising the tempo after leading three out, and was a few lengths in front after jumping the last.
However, Hannon came with a wet sail on the outside to give Chosen Mate’s trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Davy Russell a real scare in the closing stages. Milan Native was three and a half lengths away in third place.
There was a spill at the first flight where the pace-setting Jetez came down, leaving Prince D’Aubrelle in front until the business end of proceedings.
Elliott said: “He’s a grand, honest horse, but Davy said he just does what he has to do when he gets there. The four-year-old [Hannon] was getting a lot of weight.
“The plan is to keep him for Aintree. Davy had to change tactics when Puppy [Robbie Power] fell. He wanted to get up and take Paul [Townend] on and not give him a complete freebie. A fast-run two miles would suit him better, and you could even step him out to two and a half. He jumped well.”