The Storyteller takes Champion Chase honours in thrilling Down Royal finish

The Storyteller landed the biggest success of his career when pipping Chris’s Dream in a thrilling renewal of the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal.

Gordon Elliott’s nine-year-old has been in the form of his life through the autumn, but he has regularly come up short in Grade One company since winning at the highest level as a novice.

Dropped out at the rear by Keith Donoghue, The Storyteller came through to challenge Chris’s Dream between the last two fences and the two settled down to fight it out.

For most of the run to the line, Henry de Bromhead’s Chris’s Dream looked likely to hold on, but Donoghue was not to be denied aboard 9-2 shot The Storyteller, who prevailed by a neck.

Noel Meade’s Tout Est Permis stayed on for third past a weakening Presenting Percy.

“The ground not going too deep suited him. He’s a horse of a lifetime and has always been a brilliant horse for the Sloans (owners),” said Elliott

“He might get a bit of a break, he wouldn’t want really heavy ground. They’ll all go to the usual places over Christmas.

Keith Donoghue celebrates the biggest success of his career
Keith Donoghue celebrates the biggest success of his career (Niall Carson/PA)

“It’s great for Keith, he’s a big part of our team. He’s had loads of chances and he proves when he gets the chances how good he is.”

Of Presenting Percy, who was making his debut for Elliott, the trainer added: “Denis (O’Regan) was happy with him and said he blew up. The ground just wasn’t as soft as he would have wanted.”

Elliott also saddled fifth-placed Delta Work, eighth Ravenhill and Alpha Des Obeaux, who finished last of the nine runners.

The trainer said: “Jack (Kennedy, jockey) was happy with Delta Work, but he just got tired. The rest of them finished where they should.”