Tag Archive for: French Dynamite

Max Flamingo heading for Irish National after Thurles triumph

Max Flamingo booked his Irish Grand National ticket in landing the odds to get off the mark over fences in the Horse & Jockey Beginners’ Chase at Thurles.

The seven-year-old brushed aside his main market rival Bacardys after leading three out to get the verdict by three-quarters of a length under Denis O’Regan.

Max Flamingo (4-7 favourite) was back meeting the opposition on equal terms after running in competitive handicaps at Leopardstown on his two previous starts. This was his easiest task as he had previously finished fourth to Fury Road in the Grade One Neville Hotels Chase, also at Leopardstown, in December.

Trained by Francis Casey, Max Flamingo put his experience to good use in a race that was reduced to four runners after two late withdrawals.

The first two were far too good for the other two with 35 lengths back to Fest Deiz in third.

“His whole plan is the Irish National and he is entered. The weights are out next week, but he is rated 142 and should get in,” said Casey.

“I don’t know if this will affect his handicap mark or not, but I don’t think the second horse is a 142-rated horse so he probably ran to his mark.

“I didn’t really want to win our beginners’ chase at this time of year, but we were disappointed with his jumping the last day so we said we’d go for this.

“Denis said he loved the ground but wouldn’t want it any quicker.

“He’ll run in the Irish National next and us small men have to dream big!”

French Dynamite got up in the shadow of the post to land the Grade Three Pierce Molony Novice Chase.

Ciel De Niege looked certain to take his winning run to four when he jumped the last with a handy lead but persistence paid off for Darragh O’Keeffe.

He did not give up on French Dynamite (9-4) and the Mouse Morris-trained seven-year-old stayed on to such good effect that he snatched the verdict by a nose.

Mark Walsh had set out to make all on Ciel De Niege and the 4-11 favourite looked carrying on the fine form of both the rider and trainer Willie Mullins from the Cheltenham Festival until French Dynamite’s late thrust proved decisive.

Mouse Morris with Mark Walsh
Mouse Morris with Mark Walsh (PA)

Morris said: “What’s seldom is wonderful! It is nice to see him back and that ground suits him. He jumped well.

“I have no plans and will speak with the owners and see what they want to do.”

He added “The horses have been running well, but had been hitting the crossbar, although they are just moderate. The two in Cheltenham ran well.

“I have a couple of nice four-year-olds and there are a few which have run well and been placed, so hopefully they can improve.

“Unfortunately I don’t have 500 grand to spend.”

Morris sets sights on Christmas date for French Dynamite

Mouse Morris has the Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting on the agenda for French Dynamite.

The County Tipperary trainer feels he has to step French Dynamite up in class sooner rather than later after the six-year-old got off the mark over fences at the second attempt with a convincing performance at Punchestown.

“He’s fine. He’s in good fettle. I don’t know where I go next with him,” said Morris.

“I might have to step him up in grade as the programme over here is not conducive to a horse like him.

“I’d say any trip from two and a half miles to three is fine for him. We’ll see how he goes on. The three-mile novice chase at Leopardstown over Christmas will be the long-term aim.”

Morris has another promising staying novice chasing prospect in Gentlemansgame.

The five-year-old, who like French Dynamite, is owned by Robcour, was last seen finishing second to Galopin Des Champs in the Grade One Irish Mirror Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April.

“He’s chipping away but he’s behind the others fitness wise,” said Morris.

“He’ll start off in a beginners’ chase over two and a half miles. He’ll get three miles as well and he might to have a clash with French Dynamite at some stage. It’s a good headache to have. He’ll be ready around Christmas time.”

Riviere D’etel impresses in Grade Two victory at Punchestown

Riviere D’etel ran her rivals into the ground with an impressive all-the-way win in the Grade Two BetVictor Casino Novice Chase at Punchestown.

Taking advantage of the weight allowances, the four-year-old filly romped home 21 lengths clear of the 8-11 favourite Cape Gentleman, who was conceding 18lb to the winner.

Denis O’Regan made his intentions clear from the start as he kicked Riviere D’etel (9-4) into the lead from flag fall. Cape Gentleman was always in second place, keeping tabs on the Gordon Elliott-trained leader.

When it looked as though Cape Gentleman would mount a serious challenge, Riviere D’etel pulled away to win in convincing fashion and back up her chasing debut success at Fairyhouse last month.

“I thought she was very good. She jumped well and Denis gave her a good ride, she’s a nice mare,” said Elliott.

“We said we’d let her stride along and use all the allowances. She might have won with 10lb more, whether she would have won with 18lb more I don’t know, but she won very well.

“There is a mares’ race in Cork in a few weeks (Grade Two Lombardstown Chase on December 5) and there is also a novice chase in Navan (December 18).

“I wouldn’t rule anything out with her and we’ll keep all our options open.”

Riviere D’etel was cut to 14-1 from 33-1 for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival with Betfair.

French Dynamite took full advantage of the absence of Bob Olinger to record an impressive success in the BetVictor Loyalty Club Beginners Chase.

Henry de Bromhead’s Bob Olinger was due to make his eagerly-awaited debut over fences, but the Cheltenham Festival winner was ruled out with a stone bruise.

That left French Dynamite as the even-money favourite in the same colours of Robcour, and the result was never in doubt from some way out.

Fourth in the Champion Stayers Hurdle at Punchestown, the Mouse Morris-trained six-year-old had faced a stiff task on his chasing bow in a Grade Three won by Cape Gentleman at Cork last month – but showed the benefit of that experience had not been lost on him.

Morris said: “That was nice and he’s progressing nicely. He has a bit to learn yet, but he’s going the right way.

“He’s not in the Drinmore and won’t run there. I wouldn’t mind getting another run into him somewhere before Christmas.

“The programme is not very conducive to staying chasers. We’ll have a look at maybe travelling.

“He loves that ground and Darragh (O’Keeffe) said his jumping was awesome.”

Top Bandit gave Elliott a double when adding to his Cheltenham success last month in the Extra Places Every Day At BetVictor Rated Novice Hurdle.

Leading between the last two flights under Davy Russell, the 2-1 favourite quickly put the race to bed to score by two and a half lengths from Sit Down Lucy.

Stable representative Aidan O’Ryan said: “He’s a grand horse and is improving away the whole time. I’m sure Gordon will find something similar for him and his future will be over the big ones.”

Lunar Power made all the running to win the BetVictor Proud To Support Irish Racing 3yo Hurdle.

Trainer Noel Meade had been disappointed with his hurdling debut at Down Royal in August, but the three-year-old gelding has since gone on to win and be second on the Flat.

Lunar Power (6-4) beat the 11-10 favourite Iberique Du Seuil for the Elloott team by four and three-quarter lengths in the hands of Bryan Cooper.

“That was more like it. I don’t know what happened him in the north, he got a fright at the first and then his jumping just got worse and worse,” said Meade.

“In fairness to the horse he probably wasn’t at this best either. Between the north and Leopardstown the last day he was a different horse, he bolted in last time.

“Maybe it was being in front, but my horses weren’t right for a lot of the time during the summer. But he was running well even when they weren’t right.

“He jumps well and there is no reason he can’t compete with them in the better juvenile races.

“He has an engine and he stays well, for three-year-old hurdling that’s what you want.”