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Felix Desjy maintains unbeaten chasing record

Felix Desjy took his unbeaten fencing record to two with a hard-fought success in the Mongey Communications Novice Chase at Punchestown.

A facile winner on his first run over the bigger obstacles at Killarney, Gordon Elliott’s charge faced a much stiffer test in this Grade Two heat.

However, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding stepped up to the plate in determined fashion after making some of the early running.

Sizing Pottsie set sail for home from the fourth-last fence and had his rivals at full stretch, with Felix Desjy coming out of the pack two out.

Leading on the run-in, Felix Desjy (13-8) pulled away to score by a length and three-quarters in the hands of Jack Kennedy.

Felix Desjy in the winner's enclosure after his Grade Two novice chase success
Felix Desjy in the winner’s enclosure after his Grade Two novice chase success (Gary Carson/PA)

Last season’s Champion Hurdle third Darver Star, the 11-10 favourite, was eight lengths back in third, never being able to get into a challenging position.

Kennedy said: “He’s gone very relaxed now which is great because if something comes to take him on he’s not tearing away with you, that’s a great help.

“He put in a great round of jumping and I was delighted with him. He’s deadly over a fence.

“I thought Sizing Pottsie might have got away from me a little bit, but my lad loves that ground and he stays galloping.”

Felix Desjy was cut to 16-1 from 20-1 for the Sporting Life Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham with Paddy Power and Betfair.

Gavin Cromwell will forward to another day with Darver Star on better ground.

He said: “He’s fine. We’ve always known that he likes a bit of nicer ground. That soft ground made him look slow, I don’t know if he just wasn’t enjoying it.

“On the whole he jumped well enough. Obviously you’d like to be winning there today, but he didn’t run shocking and went to the line well enough.

“We’ll probably look at something over Christmas and he definitely wants a bit of nicer ground. We won’t panic yet.”

Felix Desjy delights Elliott and Kennedy on fencing debut

Felix Desjy made a winning start to his fencing career with victory in the Avenue Hotel Beginners Chase at Killarney on Monday.

Gordon Elliott’s seven-year-old was a Grade One winner over hurdles at Aintree in 2019, but was off the track for 430 days following a run at Punchestown afterwards.

He reappeared with a win on the Flat at Navan in July, but fell at the second flight when favourite for the Galway Hurdle before Elliott switched his attentions to the bigger obstacles.

Sent off the 1-5 favourite, his task was made easier when his main rival Raya Time was an early casualty.

Espion Du Chenet kept him company for some of the contest, but was a spent force in the straight as Jack Kennedy allowed his mount to coast home and win by 31 lengths from Port Rashid without a too much of a scare.

Kennedy said: “All he had to do was jump round really and he put in a brilliant round of jumping. He was a little bit long at the last down the back, but other than that he was brilliant.

“He is unbelievable over a fence so he’ll be exciting going back into better races again.”

Elliott, by telephone, added: “That was great and I’m delighted with him.

“There is a graded race next week, but that will come too soon and he will probably be aimed at the Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown in November.”