Road To Respect on the road to a Leopardstown repeat

Gigginstown Stud pursuing five in a row in Savills Chase

Road To Respect is on course to try and record back-to-back victories in Leopardstown’s €175,000 Savills Chase over Christmas.

The Noel Meade-trained star led home a Gigginstown Stud monopoly in last year’s Grade One, beating Balko Des Flos and Outlander, with only Minella Rocco in fourth interrupting Gigginstown’s dominance.

Having scored in the three previous years with Outlander, Don Poli and Road To Riches, Michael O'Leary's team are pursuing a remarkable five-in-a-row in the prestigious event.

“A lot always depends on ground but the plan is Leopardstown for Road To Respect,” said Gigginstown Stud’s spokesman Eddie O’Leary.


Gigginstown had five of the first six home a year ago and will have a range of options again including their star mare Shattered Love.

She finished runner-up in last Sunday's John Durkan and holds a King George VI Chase entry at Kempton on St Stephen's Day. However, O'Leary has indicated the Leopardstown option is more likely for her.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy could yet get a supplementary entry into the King George if ground conditions look like getting too quick at Leopardstown.

However, one horse definitely taking the Leopardstown option will be Kemboy. He landed a Grade Two at Clonmel before being denied a shot at Newbury’s Ladbrokes Trophy when his ferry to Britain was cancelled.

“It was really disappointing to miss Newbury but this is another prestigious race and to have a horse good enough to run in a race like this is fantastic for his owners and the club as a whole,” said a spokesman for Kemboy’s owners, the Supreme Racing Club.

“He’s an improving horse who has over three miles on heavy ground at Limerick so we don’t think the step up in trip will be a problem.

“This is obviously going to be another step up in grade for him and we’ll find out whether he’s up to it or not,” he added.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column