Landofhopeandglory continues chasing progression at Roscommon

Mon 25 Sep 2017

Landofhopeandglory led home a one-two for leading owner JP McManus in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Kilbegnet Novice Chase at Roscommon.

The Joseph O'Brien-trained Landofhopeandglory was one of the top juvenile hurdlers in Ireland last season, winning his first three starts before going on to finish fifth in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and second in the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at Punchestown.

He was fourth on his chasing debut at Roscommon in June, but raised his game to get off the mark at Kilbeggan and was still in contention when falling two fences from the finish in a Grade Three novice chase at the Galway Festival on his latest appearance.

Taking on just five rivals at Grade Three level once more, the son of High Chaparral was the 2-1 favourite in the hands of Mark Walsh and while his jumping was not always fluent and his rider had to get to work at various stages of the extended two-mile contest, Landofhopeandglory responded after the final fence to see off Rock On Fruity by half a length.

Walsh said: "He was a little bit cautious early on after his fall the last day, but he's done it well. I was happy with him coming into the straight. I was probably in front a bit soon but when the second horse came to him, it pushed him on again.

"He's only a four-year-old and is still learning the jumping game."

Outsider Inis Meain was a close-up third, a long way clear of the only other finisher Alto Esqua.

Rosie Alice fell at the final obstacle and brought down the weakening Montana Belle, but both horses and both jockeys walked away from the incident.

Frank Berry, racing manager for McManus, said: "That was grand. The second horse probably threw it away at the second-last and the winner battled away.

"He had a hard old fall in Galway and Mark said he was a little bit cowardly early on, but he warmed up to it well and got the job done.

"He'll chip away at those novices for the winter and see how he gets on, he seems to handle the conditions quite well.

"It was a matter of getting today out of the way first and it was a lovely race for it, a grand prize. We'll see how he comes out of it and there will be similar events coming up around the country.

"He's flexible and I'd say going two and a half (miles) wouldn't be a problem to him. He keeps a bit for himself, but maybe that's not a bad thing."

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