tote Fantasy Bobbyjo Chase
|Grade 2 Handicap, Fairyhouse 15:55
3m 1f, Class 1
1 Kemboy 15/8F
2 Vanillier 11/1
3 Now Where Or When 33/1
8 ran NR: Farclas Distances: ½l, 1l, 16l
Time: 6m 51.00s (slow by 38.00s)
The Willie Mullins-trained Kemboy was the highest-rated chaser in training after winning the Savills Chase, the Aintree Bowl and the Punchestown Gold Cup under a retiring Ruby Walsh a few seasons ago.
He has found victories harder to come by since, with his most recent achieved in the 2021 Irish Gold Cup, but made the most of having his sights lowered in this Grade Three contest.
Kemboy proved he retains plenty of ability by finishing second in both the Down Royal Champion Chase and the Savills Chase earlier this season and had far less on his plate than when sixth behind esteemed stablemate Galopin Des Champs in the Irish Gold Cup three weeks ago.
Allowed to dominate in front in the hands of Paul Townend, the 11-year-old dug deep once challenged and had just enough in the tank to see off Vanillier, who ran a fine trial for the Grand National, by a half a length.
“That was good, I thought a drop in grade at this stage of his career was probably no harm,” said Mullins of the 15-8 favourite.
“He was careful at some of his jumps and then got some really good jumps. He jumped well when it mattered over the last.
“The dry conditions were a huge help to him. I might try to pick out another race like that. The Imperial Call Chase at Cork (April 9) might be a possible.
“The Aintree Bowl is a possibility, but you are running up against Grade One horses there and we might be as well off keeping below the radar. That’s his first win for two years and I’d prefer to keep him in a lower grade at his age and be competitive.
“Then we could try to finish up at Punchestown where he had a great day with Ruby Walsh, if he could roll back the years maybe he could do it again.”
€28,500 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 3m 1f, Class 1
POS. DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 Kemboy 11 11-0 W P Mullins Paul Townend 15/8
2 ½ Vanillier 8 11-8 Gavin Cromwell Sean Flanagan 11/1
3 1 Now Where Or When 8 11-0 S R B Crawford Darragh O'Keeffe 33/1
4 16 Carefully Selected 11 11-0 W P Mullins Danny Mullins 9/4
5 1¼ Pencilfulloflead 9 11-0 Gordon Elliott Jordan Gainford 100/30
6 17 Enjoy D'Allen 9 11-0 Ciaran Murphy Simon Torrens 20/1
UR Glamorgan Duke 10 11-0 Paul John Gilligan Jack G Gilligan 80/1
UR Longhouse Poet 9 11-0 Martin Brassil J J Slevin 10/1
NR 4 Farclas 9 11-0 Gordon Elliott NON RUNNER