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Punchestown Festival 2012  

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China Rock Takes Shock Gold Cup Victory
28/04/12

1 China Rock 20/1
2 Follow The Plan 7/1
3 Quel Esprit 15/8F
8 ran Distances: 5l, 6½l, 1½l
TIME 6m 35.70s (slow by 20.70s)

China Rock bounced back this week to take a surprise victory in thetote.com Punchestown Gold Cup.

China Rock
© racing-images.co.uk

China Rock

Mouse Morris' nine-year-old was making his second appearance at the Festival meeting after finishing fourth behind Sizing Europe in the two-mile Champion Chase at the track on Tuesday.

Stepping back up in trip to three miles and a furlong, Barry Geraghty was clearly cruising aboard the 20/1 outsider as favourite Quel Esprit tried to kick clear turning for home.

Rubi Light went upsides as he made his own bid for glory but Geraghty was biding his time before launching his challenge at the second-last. China Rock picked up in style with last year's winner Follow The Plan the only real threat.

China Rock was sporting a first-time tongue tie and Morris thought it had made all the difference in his quick run back.

"We weren't going to win anything with him at home! He had a problem and we couldn't find it," he said.

"He was travelling well in the Gold Cup and he fell into a hole, he was travelling reasonable enough the other day over two miles and he fell into a hole again; he just wasn't getting home so it was obviously a wind problem."


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