Clan Des Obeaux made it third time lucky in the Betway Bowl Chase at Aintree with a superb performance.
It was also a red-letter day for Sir Alex Ferguson and his fellow owners, after the same colours were earlier carried to victory in the two previous Grade Ones by Protektorat and Monmiral.
The Paul Nicholls-trained nine-year-old was third in this race in 2018 and second in 2019. He finally got his just reward in some style to give Nicholls and jockey Harry Cobden a double after Monmiral.
Mister Fisher made the running to the 12th fence, where he unseated Nico de Boinville after making a bad mistake.
Clan Des Obeaux soon led after that and stretched the opposition. Clondaw Castle was the only horse able to lay down a challenge, but he could not live with the 5-2 favourite, who drew well clear to win by 26 lengths. Clondaw Castle was 18 lengths ahead of Native River.
Dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll was fourth, a further 48 lengths away as the field finished well strung out.
Nicholls said: “When he’s been here before he’s had two hard races in the Gold Cup so the best thing we did was not take him there (Cheltenham), it makes such a big difference as it’s hard to do both.
“Perhaps he was disappointing at Newbury, but he did give 6lb to a good horse. It woke us up though as we realised we were probably getting the tactics wrong. We know to be positive on him now.
“Obviously next season the King George will be his number one aim, then back here and I’d like to go for the Denman again. If the ground is decent the Betfair at Haydock is a nice race for him – as is the Charlie Hall.”
He added: “He’s actually in the Bet365 Chase at Sandown and he doesn’t get a penalty, so that could be interesting. I’ve always thought that race would suit him. We didn’t put him in at Punchestown, but I did say if we could win this we could always supplement.”
Owned by Gigginstown House Stud, Tiger Roll was withdrawn from the National and the chance to join Red Rum as a three-time winner, as connections were unhappy with his handicap mark.
And while racing manager Eddie O’Leary is hoping the handicapper reacts by dropping Tiger Roll a few pounds, he is not holding out much hope.
“He ran exactly like I thought. He jumped out, we tried to be positive, which is when he runs best, but they just went too fast for him,” said O’Leary.
“That’s what happens in a Grade One when you haven’t got a Grade One horse.
“Once he finished sound and he gets home happy, that’s all we want. I just hope the handicapper takes note.
“The handicapper wanted us to run him in a race like that and he’s been beaten over 90 lengths. He wanted to see him on the track.
“The handicapper took him out of the Grand National, not us. Easysland came out of the National for the same reason, the problem is the ridiculous ratings the cross-country horses have. They’ve lost the star of the show and Easysland.
“Cross-country ratings should be different, just like turf and all-weather – you have to treat cross country differently, as today showed.
“That was as close as he could finish, there was no way he wasn’t off.”
The stewards did hold an inquiry into the running and riding of Tiger Roll, interviewing Kennedy and trainer Denise Foster.
In the stewards’ report Kennedy said his instructions were to make the running but that he felt the gelding was never really travelling due to the fast early pace, a fact which he reported at scales, and that following a mistake at the third fence, where his mount may have lost confidence, he was never able to hold his position.
Foster spoke to officials by telephone and confirmed both the instructions given and also that Tiger Roll may have been unsuited by the fast pace. She further added the race may have come too soon after the recent run at Cheltenham.
Their explanations were noted.
Other Recent Posts by This Author:
- Stars aligned for truly unforgettable day at Ascot
- Mishriff poised for eagerly-awaited rematch with Adayar
- Oisin Murphy on verge of third jockeys’ championship after Haydock double
- Baaeed bidding to prove his worth in clash of the miling titans
- King wary of swift returns as Trueshan and Stradivarius clash again