Frank Ward Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase
|Grade 1, Leopardstown 13:40
Race Value: €80,000
2m 1f, Class 1
|Sunday 25th January 2015|
1 Un De Sceaux 8/11F
2 Clarcam 7/2
3 Gilgamboa 11/4
3 ran Distances: 15l, ½l
TIME 4m 11.80s (slow by 5.80s)
Un De Sceaux romps home by 15 lengths in the Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown
Unbeaten in seven starts over hurdles, the Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old came to grief on his chasing debut at Thurles in November but righted that wrong at Fairyhouse last month.
Sent off the 8-11 favourite for his Grade One debut, Un De Sceaux was soon adopting his customary trailblazing role and some bold leaps kept up the heat.
Gilgamboa was the first to feel the pinch, making a mistake in the back straight, and it was Clarcam who went in pursuit after jumping the second fence from the finish.
However, it was soon apparent he was struggling to bridge the gap and Un De Sceaux found another gear on the run to the final fence to leave his rivals trailing.
An accurate leap sealed his success and he came home a long way clear in the hands of Ruby Walsh.
Clarcam, already a Grade One winner over fences and receiving 12lb from the market leader, was a clear second, but not in the same league as the winner.
Walsh said: "They're two good horses behind him, Gilgamboa and Clarcam.
"We went a good, honest gallop. I think the boys thought I might go a bit faster, but I thought I was going plenty quick.
"He jumped really well. He was good and brave down the back, he was very clever at the second-last and he quickened away from them and won very well at the death.
"I'd love the way he quickened off the bend and galloped all the way to the line. It's a tough test here. People don't realise how stiff Leopardstown is.
"For a front-runner that does everything on the bridle and going forward, he does find. He doesn't stop. You know there's a bit in the tank.
"This hasn't been an easy horse to mind, train, ride, anything. To get him where he is now is a job well done."
Comparing Un De Sceaux to some of the other top two-mile chasers he has ridden, the jockey said: "I suppose he's a bit like Azertyuiop. Azertyuiop was forward-going.
"Master Minded was a great ride. Azertyuiop took a bit of riding. He was always on your hands and wanting to go and this fellow is the same.
"I love the way he goes at fences, he doesn't back off."
The Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Steeplechase (Grade 1) 2m 1f , Race Value: €80,000
Going: Yielding to Soft
|1st||Un De Sceaux (FR) 8/11f||R Walsh
|W P Mullins||7|
|2nd||15||Clarcam (FR) 7/2||B J Cooper
|3rd||½||Gilgamboa (IRE) 11/4||A P McCoy