Punchestown Festival 2012  

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Lucky William Steps Up in Ryanair Novice Chase

1 Lucky William 4/1
2 Blackstairmountain 8/1
3 First Lieutenant 9/4F
7 ran Distances: 1½l, 6½l, 3½l
TIME 4m 35.00s (slow by 35.00s)

After an impressive handicap success last time out, the Tom Cooper-trained Lucky William (4/1) made a successful step up in class to hold off Blackstairmountain to win the opening Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase.

Lucky William
© Racehorse Photos

Mon Parrain

“It was a brilliant performance from Lucky William. Out of all the runners in the race, I thought he was the one who would handle the ground best of all and he proved it on the day,” said Cooper.

“He’s improving with every run. It was a mighty performance under top-weight at Fairyhouse in a competitive handicap on soft ground last time, he was giving two and a half stone to some well-handicapped horses there. We’ve kept him fresh since then and he is probably a better horse on better ground, but he is very versatile.

“That’s it for now but it’s tricky to know where we’ll go next season, he’s not a Sprinter Sacre and we’ll have to try and avoid him.”

The Philip Hobbs-trained Menorah finished fourth and his jockey, Richard Johnson, said: “I think the ground was slightly against Menorah. He was a bit awkward over the first couple of fences and I think he finds it difficult to pick up in that ground.

“He has ran a decent race and it’s the end of a long season so hopefully we have plenty to look forward to next year.”

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