Tag Archive for: Gentleman De Mee

Gentleman De Mee has Edwardstone’s measure at Aintree

Gentleman De Mee created a minor surprise as he lifted the Poundland Maghull Novices’ Chase at Aintree.

Arkle winner Edwardstone was widely expected to follow up his Cheltenham Festival success in this Grade One contest, being sent off the 4-7 favourite for Alan King.

However, he proved no match for the Willie Mullins-trained winner, who raced generously throughout for Mark Walsh as he took a big step up from wide-margin wins at Thurles and in a Navan Grade Three.

Third Time Lucki briefly looked like challenging after Harry Skelton did well to recover a lost iron, but he dropped away in the straight, leaving Edwardstone and Gentleman De Mee to slug it out.

There was only one winner though, as Gentleman De Mee kicked on again at the last, coming home four and a half lengths clear with Dan Skelton’s Third Time Lucki another 11 lengths back in third.

Mullins said: “I think the Arkle winner, having been to Cheltenham and we didn’t, maybe didn’t have the freshness we had. I was hoping our freshness might be the right card to play and it looked like that.

Gentleman De Mee (left) on his way to victory
Gentleman De Mee (left) on his way to victory (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Mark gave him a brilliant ride, he got him out, got him jumping and even gave him a breather when he made a mistake at the fourth-last. Mark felt he was always in charge.

“He’s just improved the last six to eight weeks, I think the change of tactics have helped, rather than holding him up and getting beaten like he was early in the season. He’s maturing and growing into himself.

“It looks like there’s more to come. We’ll see about Punchestown, we’ll see how he comes out of this. I think he’s a Champion Chase horse.”

Mullins did have the ante-post favourite for the Arkle in Ferny Hollow until injury curtailed his season once more.

“He’s good,” said Mullins. “He had a vet check the other day and everything is going well. He’ll be back next season and hopefully he’ll get a bit of time out at grass first.”

King was not downhearted in defeat, although he felt the fact Edwardstone was having his seventh start of the year while Gentleman De Mee was having his fifth might have been key.

Edwardstone could not repeat his Cheltenham heroics
Edwardstone could not repeat his Cheltenham heroics (Mike Egerton/PA)

He said: “All through the week I was getting afraid of the winner who was only 3lb behind us and had an easier prep.

“There are no regrets, because if you look at Dan’s horse (Third Time Lucki), we have run our race.

“I’m thrilled with him, and would think the Shloer might be the first target next season.”

Skelton was similarly satisfied with Third Time Lucki, who was finishing behind Edwardstone for a third time this season.

He said: “It’s a shame that he hit the cross fence, but he soon was back on the bridle.

“He’s had a great first year over fences and seen a lot of the back of Edwardstone. His campaign will remain at two miles when he comes back next season.”

Mullins eyeing Grade One targets for Flyingbolt hero Gentleman De Mee

Gentleman De Mee cruised to a facile all-the-way win in the Flyingbolt Novice Chase at Navan.

The six-year-old, trained by Willie Mullins, had no trouble landing the odds in the Grade Three contest over two miles.

Having got off the mark over fences at the third attempt at Thurles last month, the 1-5 favourite brushed aside the opposition with consummate ease in the hands of Mark Walsh.

Gentleman De Mee soon built up a big lead and though Grange Walk and Streets Of Doyen tried to bridge the gap, the odds-on shot pulled away again to beat the former by 16 lengths.

It was a double for Mullins following the victory of Belle Metal, ridden by Paul Townend, in the Racing Again March 12th Mares Maiden Hurdle.

“He did that grand. He’s settling better, jumping better and settling into his game,” said Mullins.

“It might be hard to find another opportunity for him. He could perhaps go up to Grade One level over two and a half miles at Fairyhouse.

“If I can’t find a suitable two-mile race, we might take a chance and step him up in trip there. Otherwise there is the Grade One over two miles at Punchestown.

“He likes to get on with the job but Mark just thought he settled a fair bit better today, after the first two fences he said he was grand. He jumps them brave.”

Gavin Cromwell enjoyed a treble on the card kickstarted by the Luke Dempsey-ridden Vera Verto (evens favourite) in the first division of the Race Displays Maiden Hurdle.

Cromwell and Dempsey combined again with Global Export (4-6 favourite) in the second division, while Keith Donoghue steered Silvertown (10-1) to success for the trainer in the P.S. Supplies Doors & Floors Handicap Hurdle.