Champagne West sparkles in Thyestes

Henry de Bromhead’s charge turns Gowran Park showpiece into a procession

 David Mullins onboard Champagne West on his way to winning. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

David Mullins onboard Champagne West on his way to winning. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Champagne West produced a brilliant front-running display to run out a wide-margin winner of the Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park.

Henry de Bromhead’s charge was lumbered with a big weight on 11st 7lb, but turned what looked a fiercely competitive handicap into a procession in the hands of local jockey David Mullins.

Among the leading contenders for the race at 7-1 after impressing in a Listed event at Tramore on New Year’s Day, the Roger Brookhouse-owned nine-year-old jumped accurately at the head of affairs and had most of his rivals in trouble a long way from home.

Ucello Conti looked a major threat rounding the home turn, but Champagne West was in no mood to be caught and picked up again between the final two fences before pinging the last to seal a seven-and-a-half-length success.

Ucello Conti was a clear second, with Bonny Kate just beating Pleasant Company to third place.

Mullins said: “When you only live two minutes over the road, it’s great. I’ve missed plenty of days at school to come here.

“He’s ran away with me for at least two-six and for a horse to be getting free with you five (fences) out in that ground is not normal. To win off such a high weight, he must have a serious engine.”

RaceBets cut Champagne West to 40-1 from 100-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, while he is 14-1 from 25-1 for the Ryanair Chase with Paddy Power.

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