Growise Champion Novice Chase
Grade 1, Punchestown 18:40
Race Value: €100,000
5yo plus
3m 1f    
Tuesday 24th April 2018

Free Racing Tips

1 The Storyteller 16/1
2 Monbeg Notorious 33/1
3 Jury Duty 16/1
11 ran Distances: 6l, 1¼l, hd
Time: 6m 42.00s (slow by 43.00s)

The Storyteller left in front to claim the Champion Novice Chase for Gordon Elliott after drama at the final two fences

The Storyteller
© Caroline Norris
The Storyteller

Gordon Elliott strengthened his lead over Willie Mullins in the Irish trainers' championship in the most dramatic of circumstances after an incredible finish to the race.

The Mullins-trained Invitation Only (David Mullins) had been brought down at the second-last by the fall of Monalee (Henry de Bromhead/Noel Fehily) before his stablemate Al Boum Photo (Paul Townend), with the race seemingly his for the taking, ran out to the right before the final obstacle, carrying the Colin Tizzard-trained Finian's Oscar with him. The Storyteller (Davy Russell), from Elliott's stable, benefitted most.

Indeed there was a 1-2-3 for Elliott, with Monbeg Notorious (Denis O'Regan) six lengths back in second and Jury Duty (Mark Walsh) a length and a quarter behind in third. It left Elliott 405,839 euros ahead of Mullins in the title race.

"I was at the last fence and I'm not sure what happened," said Elliott. "I feel sorry for Paul Townend. I can't believe it, really, but I suppose that's racing. It's brilliant for me, but this is going to go to the wire. It's good for racing, but not my health. The race worked out for me and the horse deserved to win this Grade 1."

Jockey Davy Russell added: "I took a quick look up and saw nothing and I suppose Paul (Townend on Al Boum Photo) must have spotted something. I was concentrating on my fellow and thought it was great that he was going to finish a career-best in third, and then that happened. He met the last on a really nice stride. I had a marvelous run around and was just so happy with the way my horse was running.

"It's difficult for both Gordon and Willie because it's so tight and it's so important for both of them. It's important for me and Jack (Kennedy) and the guys are well. The pressure isn't projected on to us which is great. It's going to be a long week and hopefully Gordon can hang on now."

The stewards' report on the race stated: "The Stewards enquired into an incident approaching the last fence involving Al Boum Photo (FR), ridden by P. Townend, and Finian's Oscar, ridden by R.M. Power. Evidence was heard from the riders concerned. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards were of the opinion that P. Townend was in breach of Rule 214 in that he had ridden dangerously and having considered his record in this regard, the Stewards suspended him for 21 racedays and ordered that he forfeit his riding fee."

Paul Townend later issued a statement: “I thought I heard a shout and that the last fence was being bypassed. It was a split-second reaction. I wish to apologise to connections and to punters. I’d like to leave this behind me and move on with today’s rides.”


Growise Champion Novice Chase (Grade 1)
€100,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 1f, Class 1
11 ran
Going: Yielding to Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st The Storyteller (IRE) 16/1 D N Russell
G Elliott 7
2nd 6 Monbeg Notorious (IRE) 33/1 D F O'Regan
G Elliott 7
3rd Jury Duty (IRE) 16/1 M P Walsh
G Elliott 7
4th hd Rathvinden (IRE) 10/1 Mr P W Mullins
W P Mullins 10
5th ¾ Shattered Love (IRE) 4/1 J W Kennedy
G Elliott 7
6th Youcantcallherthat (IRE) 33/1 D G Hogan
Denis Hogan 7
PU Dounikos (FR) 33/1 K M Donoghue
G Elliott 7
F Monalee (IRE) 2/1f N D Fehily
H de Bromhead 7
UR Invitation Only (IRE) 10/1 D J Mullins
W P Mullins 7
RO Al Boum Photo (FR) 11/2 P Townend
W P Mullins 6
CO Finian's Oscar (IRE) 13/2 R M Power
C L Tizzard 6

Past Results:

Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP

2017 Disko 6-11-10 Gigginstown House Stud N Meade B J Cooper 13/8

2016 Zabana 7-11-10 Chris Jones Andrew Lynch Davy Russell 7/2

2015 Valseur Lido 6-11-10 Gigginstown House Stud Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh 15/2

2014 Carlingford Lough 8-11-10 J P McManus John Kiely A P McCoy 7/2

2013 Mount Benbulben 8-11-10 Barry Connell Gordon Elliott Danny Mullins 14/1

2012 Sir Des Champs 6-11-10 Gigginstown House Stud Willie Mullins Davy Russell 2/7 Fav

2011 Quito De La Roque 7-11-10 Gigginstown House Stud Colm Murphy Davy Russell 7/2

2010 Kempes 7-11-10 J P McManus Willie Mullins A P McCoy 9/1

2009 Rare Bob 7-11-10 D A Syndicate Dessie Hughes Paddy Flood 7/1

2008 Air Force One 6-11-10 Brian Walsh (Co. Kildare) Charlie Mann GB Noel Fehily 2/1

2007 Offshore Account 7-11-10 Brian Polly Charlie Swan Denis O’Regan 16/1

2006 Missed That 7-11-10 Violet O’Leary Willie Mullins David Casey 4/1

2005 Forget The Past 7-11-10 Sean Mulryan Michael O’Brien Timmy Murphy 7/4 Fav

2004 Lord Sam 8-11-08 Plain Peeps Victor Dartnall GB Jim Culloty 5/4 Fav

2003 Heart Midoltian 6-11-00 Mrs Seamus Neville Seamus Neville Davy Russell 16/1

2002 Native Endurance 6-10-09 Patrick J O’Donovan Paddy Mullins David Casey 11/2

*2001 Sackville 8-11-12 Seamus O’Farrell Frances Crowley David Casey 4/11 Fav

2000 Zourito 7-12-00 Wilson Dennison Arthur Moore Barry Cash 100/30

1999 Ferbet Junior 6-12-00 David Attwood Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty 3/1

1998 Fiddlers Tune 8-11-05 Herb M Stanley Michael Cunningham A P McCoy 7/2

1997 Linton Rocks 8-11-08 Hon. Mrs Townshend Tim Thomson Jones GB Richard Dunwoody 7/4 Fav

1996 Shanagarry 7-12-00 Patrick Heffernan Patrick Heffernan Conor O’Dwyer 3/1

1995 Camitrov 5-11-03 Jim Lewis Simon Christian GB Richard Dunwoody 7/2

1994 Belvederian 7-12-00 Tony O’Reilly Mouse Morris Graham Bradley 8/11 Fav

1993 Force Seven 6-11-05 Sheila Moore Paddy Mullins Trevor Horgan 11/4 Fav

1992 Milford Quay 9-11-10 W A Jones Martin Pipe GB Peter Scudamore 15/8 Fav

* Run at Fairyhouse

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