Special Tiara takes Kempton crown

Henry De Bromhead’s seven year old guided to victory by jockey Barry Geraghty

Special Tiara, ridden by Barry Geraghty, jumps the third fence on the way to winning the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase on day two of the William Hill Winter Festival at Kempton Park. Photograph:  Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Special Tiara, ridden by Barry Geraghty, jumps the third fence on the way to winning the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase on day two of the William Hill Winter Festival at Kempton Park. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

 

Special Tiara ran his rivals ragged under a front-running ride from Barry Geraghty in the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

Henry De Bromhead’s seven year old was sent off into the lead by Geraghty from the outset and some flamboyant leaps at his fences meant the partnership soon established a handy lead.

A mistake three from home offered an opportunity for Balder Succes to close the gap but Special Tiara found more for pressure in the straight and eventually won by two and a quarter lengths.

The race was won last year by subsequent Champion Chase hero Sire De Grugy, with the added drama of Sprinter Sacre being pulled up.

A Grade 1 winner at Aintree last year as a novice in the Maghull Novices’ Chase, Special Tiara was given a quote of 25/1 by Sky Bet for the two-mile championship at Cheltenham in March.

De Bromhead was at Leopardstown, where he said: “Everything went right at Kempton and Barry Geraghty gave Special Tiara an amazing ride. We thought we were in trouble with the ground having turned a bit soft there, but he was super.”

Geraghty said: “That was the way Henry told me to ride him, I’ve seen plenty of this horse over the years and Henry said that is the way - to let him go, let him rip and use his jumping.

“He said to give him a little breather down the back and go again in the straight.

“He was very long at the ditch but popped the next and was in his element all the way round.

“It’s very rare that you get a horse with that amount of guts. To do it like that was just fantastic.

“He was really up for it, Henry had him spot on.”

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