Dooley Insurance Champion Novice Chase
Grade 1, Punchestown 18:00
€125,000 guaranteed
5yo plus
3m 120y    
Tuesday 30th April 2024

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1 Spillane's Tower 5/2J
2 Monty''s Star 5/2J
3 Three Card Brag 25/1
7 ran NR: Salvador Ziggy
Distances: ¾l, 6½l, ½l Time: 6m 41.80s (slow by 36.80s)

Spillane’s Tower followed up his WillowWarm Gold Cup win at Fairyhouse with another impressive performance, securing back-to-back Grade One victories for trainer Jimmy Mangan. Mangan, best known as the trainer of 2003 Grand National hero Monty’s Pass, celebrated his first top-level success in 16 years with this victory.

The JP McManus-owned gelding stepped up to three miles for the first time and faced stiff competition in a titanic tussle with market rival Monty’s Star.

During the race, Three Card Brag led for much of the way before the two main contenders settled down to fight it out in the straight. Spillane’s Tower traveled better than Monty’s Star, who had previously finished second to the much-heralded Fact To File in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

In a thrilling finish, Mangan’s charge proved three-quarters of a length too strong for Monty’s Star, securing the victory.

Following this impressive performance, bookmaker Quinnbet reacted by cutting Spillane’s Tower’s odds for next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup to 16-1 from 33-1.


Mangan paid tribute to the successful owner, stating: “JP, what a man for racing. Without the ammunition, you can’t fire the gun.

“There’s nothing like this, it’s a wonderful game. For the McManus’ to breed the horse and everything is the icing on the cake. I’m delighted to be delivering the goods for them.

“He looked the real deal (when I got him) and I said ‘if there’s an engine inside that body, we’re away’. Thankfully, there is. What an engine he’s got, he’s got class to burn.

“I was confident, we’ve never lost confidence in this horse. He’s only six and hopefully his future is well ahead of him.

“He dealt with that (ground) fine but I wouldn’t like to run him on tight ground, as he’s a big horse. It was my worry all week and I was delighted to see it rain.

“He had won here during the winter on heavy ground and I wouldn’t like to chance him on firm ground. When the rain came, I had no excuses.

“We had tried him at two miles but he was telling us all the time that he wanted further. He won at two-and-a-half and he was always going away at the finish.

“We can dream during the summer now, hopefully all goes well and we’ll be looking forward to the autumn.

“I was coming near to the end of the road but this really puts me back on the motorway again! All the big days are special, but Punchestown is special.”

McManus added: “Jimmy and his team have done a great job with him. It’s wonderful to be here today and sharing it with them and their family.

“They are great for racing and you can see when they win a race how enthusiastic the crowd are.”


Dooley Insurance Champion Novice Chase (Grade 1)
€125,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 3m 120y, Class 1
7 ran
Going: Yielding, Good to Yielding in places

1    Spillane's Tower 6 11-10 James Joseph Mangan Mark Walsh 5/2J
¾ Monty's Star 7 11-10 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 5/2J
Three Card Brag 7 11-10 Gordon Elliott Sam Ewing 25/1
½ Sandor Clegane 7 11-10 Paul Nolan Sean O'Keeffe 8/1
5 19 American Mike 7 11-10 Gordon Elliott Jack Kennedy 14/1
½ Sharjah 11 11-10 W P Mullins Danny Mullins 15/2
PU Embassy Gardens 8 11-10 W P Mullins Paul Townend 7/2
NR 4 Salvador Ziggy 8 11-10 Gordon Elliott NON RUNNER

Past Results:

Year Horse Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP

2023 Feronily 6 11-10 John P McManus Emmet Mullins Donagh Meyler 7/1

2022 Capodanno 6 11-10 John P McManus W P Mullins Mark Walsh 11/4

2021 Colreevy 8 11-05 Mrs N Flynn W P Mullins Danny Mullins 7/1

2020 Abandoned - Covid 19

2019 Delta Work 6-11-10 Gigginstown House Stud Gordon Elliott D N Russell 13/8F

2018 The Storyteller 7-11-10 Mrs P Sloan Gordon Elliott D N Russell 16/1

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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