Full replay: Pigsback.com Risk Of Thunder Chase
Cheltenham Festival winner and Grand National third Delta Work made a winning return to action at Punchestown.
Sent off the 4-6 favourite for the Pigsback.com Risk Of Thunder Chase over the banks course, the Gordon Elliott-trained nine-year-old – who denied esteemed former stablemate Tiger Roll a fairytale send-off at Cheltenham in March – had to work hard for victory, as he dug deep to hold the rallying Singing Banjo having taken over after the last.
“Jack (Kennedy) said it took him a while to get going, he said he was very sticky early until he got down over the double down the bottom,” said Elliott.
“It’s a bit trickier here than it is in Cheltenham. It’s hard to place a horse like him now so we said we’d see how he took to this. It’s job done.
“The runner-up is good around here and those horses are real specialists around here.
“He kind of pulled up from the last home, he pricked his ears and didn’t do much.
“He used to wear cheekpieces over fences and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were back on him again at some stage.
“We try to do different things with him at home, we take him away to a lot of different places to school him.
“He’s very good around Cheltenham, but he still has a bit to learn over the banks here.
“Jack was happy, so if he’s happy I’m happy.”
Looking to future plans, Elliott said: “He’ll probably have one run between now and Cheltenham all being well.
“There is a race in January in Cheltenham for him or he could maybe run in the Boyne Hurdle. We probably wouldn’t be here, only it was called off there (Cheltenham cross-country chase in November) last time because of the ground.”
# Nusret impresses on hurdles debut for Joseph O'Brien
Daryl Jacob’s visit to Punchestown on Sunday was rewarded with a taking victory aboard Nusret in the John Lynch Carpets 3-Y-O Hurdle.
A Curragh maiden winner who was sixth in the Melrose at York in the summer, the Joseph O’Brien-trained three-year-old is now a good looking jumps prospect for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.
He quickened up nicely in the closing stages to readily account for Morning Soldier by six lengths, and his rider feels the 5-2 winner has a bright future.
“I sat on him in Joseph’s as a two-year-old and I said when I got to the top that he would make a fine jumper. Little did I know he was going to end up going jumping,” said Jacob.
“He’s always shown a nice attitude to schooling, I’ve schooled him a couple of times at Joseph’s.
“When he won at the Curragh I really liked him and thought it was a really good performance. I thought he could be quite nice over hurdles.
“I’m sure they’ll have a nice race in mind for him now, there are a couple of good races over here at Christmas time.
“It was a nice performance, there were some nice horses in that race today. He’s done it very nicely, travelled around great and jumped great.”We have pulled together the ultimate Jumps package that any National Hunt fan would love to win with tickets to FIVE major Festivals, a 50' television and Racing TV annual membership - worth over £1,000!
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