Lexus Chase
horse racing tipster
Grade 1, Leopardstown 15:00
€150,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m, Class 1  
Wednesday 28th December 2016


1 Outlander 11/1
2 Don Poli 12/1
3 Djakadam 5/4F
NR: Gilgamboa (IRE)
13 ran Distances: 2¼l, hd, 4½l
TIME 6m 2.40s (slow by 20.40s)

A 1-2 for Gordon Elliott as Outlander defeats Don Poli

© Caroline Norris

Turning for home, three Gigginstown-owned horses were scrapping it out for the lead with Ruby Walsh asking Djakadam for everything just in behind.

If anything, it was Valseur Lido and Bryan Cooper, who'd had the choice of the Gigginstown rides, who just held the advantage among the quartet.

But he was just unable to maintain his effort from that point and despite Don Poli, who had raced sweetly under David Mullins from the off, giving his all, it was the consistent Outlander and 17-year-old Jack Kennedy who found most, scoring by two and a quarter lengths. Kennedy was claiming the biggest victory of his fledgling career.

Djakadam, who was shuffled back heading into the home turn and momentarily lost momentum, stayed on steadily for third without ever looking as he if was quite going to get on terms.

Elliott had originally planned to run the 11/1 winner in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day but made a late switch when Thistlecrack was announced as a runner.

It proved an inspired move as he produced a career-best effort on what was his fifth start of the season since leaving Willie Mullins.

Second behind Djakadam in the John Durkan at Punchestown, he improved for the three-mile trip and provided the winning owners with a third successive victory in the Lexus after Road To Riches in 2014 and Don Poli last season.

The trainer was evidently just as pleased with Don Poli, who had previously shown no enthusiasm at all on his first run for the yard at Down Royal.

"Don Poli was brilliant, David was brilliant, Outlander was good and Jack was great," Elliott told At The Races. "I feel a bit sorry for Bryan, who had to make the decision, but he'll be back.

"We've been out hunting with Don Poli and took the headgear off to try and sweeten him up today and it looked it worked, then Jack was riding Outlander to be placed and coming to the last I started to get excited.

"I thought Outlander's last run was his career-best and, sure, he improved again today, didn't he?"

The Lexus Steeplechase
€150,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m, Class 1
13 ran
Going: Yielding

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Outlander (IRE) 11/1 J W Kennedy
G Elliott 8
2nd Don Poli (IRE) 12/1 D J Mullins
G Elliott 7
3rd hd Djakadam (FR) 5/4f R Walsh
W P Mullins 7
4th Valseur Lido (FR) 3/1 B J Cooper
H de Bromhead 7
5th Taquin Du Seuil (FR) 20/1 Aidan Coleman
Jonjo O'Neill 9
6th nk More Of That (IRE) 14/1 B J Geraghty
Jonjo O'Neill 8
7th Zabana (IRE) 8/1 D N Russell
A Lynch 7
8th Road To Riches (IRE) 16/1 S W Flanagan
N Meade 9
9th 22 Lord Windermere (IRE) 25/1 D F O'Regan
J H Culloty 10
10th 1 Arctic Skipper (IRE) 100/1 R Loughran
V Halley 7
11th 20 Fine Rightly (IRE) 50/1 K M Donoghue
S R B Crawford 8
12th 26 Smashing (FR) 66/1 M A Enright
M F Morris 7
13th Wounded Warrior (IRE) 66/1 J M Moore
N Meade 7
NR Gilgamboa (IRE) 20/1 R M Power
E Bolger 8