Empire Of Dirt claims the Leopardstown Handicap Chase
Ruby Walsh makes amazing recovery on Killultagh Vic to win Novice Chase
Empire of Dirt ridden by Jonathan Moore on the way to winning at Leopardstown. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
One of three Gigginstown House Stud horses in an 11-runner line-up, Empire Of Dirt (8-1) came through to lead after the second-last after old warrior Seabass had made the running.
The nine-year-old, trained by Colm Murphy, kept away Killer Crow, also in the Gigginstown colours, to get home by two and a quarter lengths.
Seabass stuck on gamely to hold third place, just two lengths further back.
Moore said: “He jumped from fence to fence.
“Once I got my gap, I sent him on. He was game and he jumped unbelievable.
“It’s a great training performance from Colm Murphy.”
Murphy said: “I would have been disappointed if he hadn’t run well. When you are not popping in the winners, though, you don’t have the same confidence as before.
“We’re lucky we have a few nice horses, but that’s the problem — we only have a few.
“He’s been disappointing but has probably been unlucky. He was unlucky in the Troytown when he tipped up two out and the last day in the Paddy Power was a non-event when he missed the start.He doesn’t go the other way and it didn’t happen for him in Punchestown.
“We had big plans for him last year but he fell at the first in the Irish National. I’m not sure if he’ll go that route again and we might look at Cheltenham and Aintree.”
Later Ruby Walsh made an amazing recovery on Killultagh Vic to gain a dramatic triumph in the ‘Money Back On Fallers’ At Coral.ie Novice Chase.
The 2-7 favourite, who had made the running in an ebullient manner, appeared to jump the last fence well but pitched on landing which allowed Blair Perrone and Lord Scoundrel to go past.
Walsh had lost an iron but that did not stop the ace horseman from gathering up the Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old, who rallied in gallant fashion.
He was back in front less than 100 yards from the finish and won by three-quarters of a length from Blair Perrone.
Walsh said: “I think he’s a little bit of a forgotten horse in our yard — his form is rock-solid.”