Captain Guinness serves up Poplar Square success

Captain Guinness got back on track with an emphatic success in the Grade Three Poplar Square Chase at Naas – the second leg of a four-timer on the card for Rachael Blackmore.

The six-year-old, trained by Henry de Bromhead, quickly stamped his authority on the two-mile contest after taking the lead at the second-last fence.

The 6-5 favourite drew clear of his five rivals in the hands of Rachael Blackmore to score by four and three-quarter lengths from Andy Dufresne.

De Bromhead said: “He settled really well, which is key to him, and that is just what we wanted. It’s brilliant for the Landys (owners), who are all here today.

“We’ve always thought he was a brilliant jumper, and it was just unfortunate a few times last year. Punchestown was probably a run too many last season.

“This was always an obvious race to start off, but I’m not sure where we’ll go next. I’d imagine Leopardstown at Christmas would be one, and whether we do anything between now and then I’m not sure.

“The Tingle Creek and the Hilly Way at Cork would be the two obvious races between now and Christmas if we do run him again.”

Captain Guinness was cut to 20-1 from 33-1 for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, with Betfair and Paddy Power.

Blackmore was completing a double at that stage, having already scored on Uhtred (4-9 favourite) for Joseph O’Brien in the opening BetVictor Maiden Hurdle.

Teahupoo then won a dramatic race for the Grade Three BetVictor Fishery Lane Hurdle.

Autumn Evening looked to hold every chance when taking a nasty tumble at the second-last flight, leaving Teahupoo (2-1) to land the spoils.

Running for the first time since losing his unbeaten record to Jeff Kidder at Fairyhouse in April, the Gordon Elliott-trained four-year-old shrugged of Quilixios to score by 12 lengths under Jack Kennedy. Jeff Kidder was third.

Kennedy said: “He was very good. Autumn Evening went at the second last, but I felt I had him covered at the time.

Teahupoo after his Grade Three triumph in the BetVictor Fishery Labe Hurdle
Teahupoo after his Grade Three triumph in the BetVictor Fishery Labe Hurdle (Alan Magee/PA)

“I reluctantly had to go forward early on and I was much happier when Rachael went on. He picked him up well and stayed galloping. He jumped brilliant.

“I hadn’t ridden him in a race before, but he’s obviously after improving from last year and is a lovely horse.”

Teahupoo was introduced at 16-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair for the Unibet Champion Hurdle.

Of Quilixios, de Bromhead said: “He was hanging right and jumping right, which is not him. He didn’t do that at Cheltenham.

“He seemed great coming into the race, but it definitely wasn’t him. Obviously it was his first run of the season, but the hanging right would be a concern.”

Rachael Blackmore (left) after completing her first four-timer with victory on Mr Invincible
Rachael Blackmore (left) after completing her first four-timer with victory on Mr Invincible (Alan Magee/PA)

Blackmore’s four-timer was completed with victories on Eric Bloodaxe and Mr Incredible.

Eric Bloodaxe took the BetVictor Iriusg EBF Maiden Hurdle as the 5-4 favourite – sweeping to an eight-length winning margin over Supreme Jet, on his first start over jumps, giving O’Brien a double.

“He still looks big, and I’m sure there is a lot to work on still. He’s a hard horse to get fit,” said O’Brien’s assistant Brendan Powell.

“Rachael said he was always in control. He had a blow but he was always going to win.”

The Grand National-winning jockey capped another landmark day by winning on the De Bromhead-trained Mr Incredible. The 11-10 favourite had plenty to do but ate up the ground in the closing stages to collar Indiana Jones by two and a quarter lengths.

De Bromhead said: “We bought him off Colin Bowe after he was placed in a point-to-point, and he came well recommended. Chasing is his game.

“Rachel said he suddenly took off after the second last. He’s a funny fella at home, so we haven’t done much, but he would strike me as a stayer.”

Altior’s half-sister Bellatior (10-11 favourite) made a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares (Pro-Am) INH Flat Race.

The four-year-old, who cost €300,000 at the sales in August 2020, beat Kilbarry Chloe by three-quarters of a length to complete a double for the Elliott stable.

“She’s a little bit hot but she’s very nice,” said the winning trainer.

“She’s going to be good. She was keen – but to pick up and go as she did was good. We’ll take our time with her and probably leave her now until the spring.”

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