Tag Archive for: Captain Guinness

Captain Guinness makes no mistake at Naas

Captain Guinness notched his second Grade Three success of the season at Naas with a decisive victory in the BetVictor Chase.

Winner of the Poplar Square Chase over the course and distance in early November, Henry de Bromhead’s charge had since finished third in both the Tingle Creek at Sandown and the Dublin Chase at Leopardstown.

Dropping back down in class, Captain Guinness was the 5-4 favourite in the hands of Rachael Blackmore, who settled her mount behind the Willie Mullins-trained pair of Cash Back and Blackbow for much of the two-mile journey.

There was little to choose between the trio approaching the second fence from home, where a mistake from the error-prone Cash Back put paid to his chance.

It was a straight shootout from that point – and with the rail to help, Captain Guinness always appeared to be getting the better of the argument and had almost three lengths in hand at the line.

De Bromhead said: “I was worried about the ground, but it looked like a good opportunity and he stayed at it well. Rachael walked the track, was where she wanted to be and she was spot on, fair play to her.

“We decided we’d give Cheltenham a miss this year and have a go at his and luckily it worked out. I’m delighted to see him win another one.

Bob Olinger on the way to victory for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore at Cheltenham
Bob Olinger on the way to victory for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore at Cheltenham (Tim Goode/PA)

“Once we switched out of the Champion Chase, today was the day and I’ll speak to Declan (Landy, owner) now. We were toying with the idea of stepping him up to two and a half miles at Aintree and the Webster Cup (at Navan) is an option, but is less than two weeks away.

“Unfortunately he had been on the same course as Energumene as a novice, but he’s only a young horse and I’m sure we’ll head over to Cheltenham next year.”

De Bromhead also reported his Cheltenham Festival team in good shape.

“We galloped a good few on Friday and we were happy with them. They seem in really good form,” he said.

De Bromhead and Blackmore quickly followed up through Gabbys Cross (22-1) in the BetVictor Novice Handicap Chase.

“He was a bit disappointing the last day in Fairyhouse so we took the hood off and it might have gone the other extreme – we might have to put it back on! He really tanked with Rachael on the way to the start, but she settled him,” said the Waterford handler.

“I was complaining about his handicap mark beforehand, so it just shows why I’m not a handicapper.

“Before the race I was trying to get him back on track but since he’s won, I’m thinking about the two-mile-five novice handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival for him. Roger (Brookhouse, owner) always likes coming over there so it might be a nice race for him.”

The Gordon Elliot-trained Music Drive was the winner of the BetVictor INH Flat Race, striking at 9-2 under Jamie Codd to beat Paul Nolan’s Sandor Clegane, the 4-9 favourite, by three-quarters of a length.

The runner-up was well-fancied after finishing second to the highly-regarded Facile Vega on his previous bumper run.

Of Music Drive, who was second to Facile Vega’s stablemate Redemption Day at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting, Elliott said: “He is a grand, honest horse who put his head out and it is great for David (Barnard) who has a couple of horses with us now. He is very lucky and everything he seems to be touching is winning and he is having a bit of craic, so I’m delighted.

“He is more of a two-and-a-half-mile horse horse down the road, he wouldn’t mind a bit of nicer ground and we’ll keep him for Fairyhouse.”

Captain delivers at Punchestown

Captain Guinness got his career back on track with a first victory over fences at Punchestown.

The five-year-old was a high-class novice hurdler for Henry de Bromhead last season – and was not done with when he was brought down two flights from the finish in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Like many of De Bromhead’s horses, Captain Guinness was widely expected to take higher rank over the larger obstacles, but was pulled up on his chasing debut at Tipperary in October, after which he was found to be suffering from a heart problem.

With Rachael Blackmore again in the saddle, he was 4-5 favourite to show his true colours in the GAIN Supporting Laois GAA Beginners Chase – and jumped well in the main on his way to a near five-length success over Midnight Run.

De Bromhead said: “I’m delighted with that and Rachael was really happy with him. He took a little blow turning in, so hopefully he will come on from that. It’s great to get him back on track.

“Obviously he was very disappointing the first day and hopefully we can keep the heart right. Rachael said it’s very testing ground and she thinks he’ll be better on nicer ground.

“He did a piece of work since Tipperary and worked well. He’s just been tipping away since and we keep monitoring the heart. Certainly before and after he runs now we will always check his heart.”

Captain Guinness holds an entry in the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Boxing Day, but his trainer added: “Christmas may come a bit soon and there is a nice race at Naas in early January.

“He can go there and if all goes well, then he can go to the Irish Arkle.”

Betfair cut Captain Guinness to 20-1 from 33-1 for the Arkle at Cheltenham next March.

Unexcepted impresses with victory on chasing debut

Unexcepted put up a sparkling round of jumping to win the Cashel Beginners Chase at Tipperary – in which odds-on favourite Captain Guinness was pulled up at halfway.

Henry de Bromhead’s Captain Guinness was expected to take high rank among this season’s novice chasers, given how well he was running in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in March before he was unfortunately brought down.

Rachael Blackmore set out to make all on the favourite. But after an awkward jump, they conceded the lead to Willie Mullins’ Unexcepted – and Blackmore soon realised all was not well and pulled him up.

That is to take nothing away from the 7-2 winner, though, who was virtually foot perfect throughout for Mark Walsh en route to an eight-length success from Entoucas.

A hurdles winner on his Irish debut last season from the smart Jason The Militant, he was then beaten at odds-on at Limerick and pulled up early in a big handicap in February – but he is clearly over whatever was ailing him that day.

Betway were impressed and gave the winner a 14-1 quote for the Arkle in March, while Betfair are offering 20-1.

“He jumped brilliant and he was out-jumping Rachael (Blackmore), and I was taking him back over the first four fences,” said Walsh.

“After that I said ‘this lad is winging’ – so I just let him go, and he loved it. He was very quick over his fences and makes lengths at them, so you’d have to be delighted with that.

“He is a half-brother to (Grade One-winning chaser) Great Field, so hopefully he’ll go the same way and win a few of those good races.”

Blackmore reported to the stewards that Captain Guinness returned “unsound behind”.