Tag Archive for: Teahupoo

Teahupoo rallies to lift Limerick Hurdle

Teahupoo secured top honours in a thrilling renewal of the BoyleSports Sporting Limerick Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott’s charge was the 8-15 favourite for the Grade Two feature following a 12-length victory over the reopposing Quilixios in the Grade Three Fishery Lane Hurdle at Naas last month.

Quilixios, a former stablemate of Teahupoo who went on to win last season’s Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham for Henry de Bromhead, was next in the betting at 11-4.

Teahupoo led the way for much of this two-mile contest under Jordan Gainford, but looked set for minor honours after Quilixios and Darragh O’Keeffe swept into a clear lead from the home turn.

However, there was an unexpected twist in the tale after the final flight, with Teahupoo rallying for pressure and getting back up to prevail by half a length.

“He was a bit idle in front and we didn’t go mad. It actually suited me when I had something to attack at over the last two. He really put his neck out for me and tries,” said Gainford.

“He winged the last two and is a smart horse to look forward to in the spring.”

Betfair cut Teahupoo to 12-1 from 16-1 for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Robert Tyner saddled a treble on the card, initiated by Big Debates (11-2) in the Greenmount Equine Hospital Rated Novice Hurdle under 5lb claimer Jack Foley.

Split The Bucket (4-1) struck gold in the Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle in the hands of Mark Walsh, who later steered Womalko (5-4 favourite) to win the Party Time Handicap Hurdle.

Split The Bucket in the Limerick winner's enclosure
Split The Bucket in the Limerick winner’s enclosure (Alan Magee/PA)

Tyner said: “Big Debates won well. He’s been consistent and he’ll probably go back over fences again. We’ll see what’s suitable for him.

“We always liked Split The Bucket a lot but he just had a lot of little problems, nothing major. He has a nice way about him.

“The horses are in good form and it’s nice to get the three on one day.

“I think I had a treble in Clonmel before and I’ve had three winners seven times in point-to-points.”

Elliott eager to split Teahupoo and Saint Felicien up

Gordon Elliott is keen to keep apart two of his smart second-season hurdlers, Teahupoo and Saint Felicien, for the time being.

Both four-year-olds are owned by Brian Acheson’s Robcour, and the pair of them look very promising.

Teahupoo was around in Ireland last season and while he was surprisingly beaten by Jeff Kidder at Easter, the winner went on to prove there was no disgrace in that at Punchestown.

This season Teahupoo looked mightily impressive in beating Triumph Hurdle winner Quilixios at Naas by 12 lengths.

“He has an entry in the Matheson Hurdle (at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival) to keep all options open, but there’s the four-year-old hurdle at Limerick (over Christmas) as well,” said Elliott.

“The day he got beat at Fairyhouse a lot of good judges told me he looked empty in the ring. He didn’t look the horse he did early in the season, but it was a good performance at Naas and he’s a good horse.”

Saint Felicien has only had one run for Elliott since joining the yard from France, but he was an easy winner at Gowran.

“Saint Felicien is a nice horse and he could go to Limerick, but I’d like to split him and Teahupoo up as they are both owned by Robcour,” said Elliott.

“There’s a race at Punchestown, a winners of two over two-miles-three. If we go there and it goes well, we could look at something like the Red Mills (at Gowran) after that.

Elliott already has the favourite for this season’s Triumph Hurdle in Fil Dor, a Grade Three winner at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

“He didn’t do much more than we thought he’d do,” said Elliott.

“He’s a very laid-back through the race, which is a great asset as he doesn’t take much energy out of himself.

“He jumped well and when he needed a big jump at the last he got it. He won snug.

Fil Dor (right) got going late at Fairyhouse
Fil Dor (right) got going late at Fairyhouse (Niall Carson/PA)

“I’d imagine he’ll be going to Leopardstown now, he’ll have an entry at Chepstow the same week but we’ll probably keep him at home. It’s a great race and one we’ve been lucky in the last few years.

“The one thing I love about him, that was only the third win of his career but he switches off lovely behind the bridle and there’s always plenty in the tank. Davy (Russell) gave him one flick and he won hands and heels.”

American Mike is another Elliott youngster heading an ante-post list, in his case the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, but he will need a new jockey for his next race.

“American Mike will go to Navan for the Listed bumper (December 18), although Jamie Codd getting a five-day suspension on Sunday was a bit of a blow so we’ll have to work out who rides him,” said Elliott.

Captain Guinness serves up Poplar Square success

Captain Guinness got back on track with an emphatic success in the Grade Three Poplar Square Chase at Naas – the second leg of a four-timer on the card for Rachael Blackmore.

The six-year-old, trained by Henry de Bromhead, quickly stamped his authority on the two-mile contest after taking the lead at the second-last fence.

The 6-5 favourite drew clear of his five rivals in the hands of Rachael Blackmore to score by four and three-quarter lengths from Andy Dufresne.

De Bromhead said: “He settled really well, which is key to him, and that is just what we wanted. It’s brilliant for the Landys (owners), who are all here today.

“We’ve always thought he was a brilliant jumper, and it was just unfortunate a few times last year. Punchestown was probably a run too many last season.

“This was always an obvious race to start off, but I’m not sure where we’ll go next. I’d imagine Leopardstown at Christmas would be one, and whether we do anything between now and then I’m not sure.

“The Tingle Creek and the Hilly Way at Cork would be the two obvious races between now and Christmas if we do run him again.”

Captain Guinness was cut to 20-1 from 33-1 for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, with Betfair and Paddy Power.

Blackmore was completing a double at that stage, having already scored on Uhtred (4-9 favourite) for Joseph O’Brien in the opening BetVictor Maiden Hurdle.

Teahupoo then won a dramatic race for the Grade Three BetVictor Fishery Lane Hurdle.

Autumn Evening looked to hold every chance when taking a nasty tumble at the second-last flight, leaving Teahupoo (2-1) to land the spoils.

Running for the first time since losing his unbeaten record to Jeff Kidder at Fairyhouse in April, the Gordon Elliott-trained four-year-old shrugged of Quilixios to score by 12 lengths under Jack Kennedy. Jeff Kidder was third.

Kennedy said: “He was very good. Autumn Evening went at the second last, but I felt I had him covered at the time.

Teahupoo after his Grade Three triumph in the BetVictor Fishery Labe Hurdle
Teahupoo after his Grade Three triumph in the BetVictor Fishery Labe Hurdle (Alan Magee/PA)

“I reluctantly had to go forward early on and I was much happier when Rachael went on. He picked him up well and stayed galloping. He jumped brilliant.

“I hadn’t ridden him in a race before, but he’s obviously after improving from last year and is a lovely horse.”

Teahupoo was introduced at 16-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair for the Unibet Champion Hurdle.

Of Quilixios, de Bromhead said: “He was hanging right and jumping right, which is not him. He didn’t do that at Cheltenham.

“He seemed great coming into the race, but it definitely wasn’t him. Obviously it was his first run of the season, but the hanging right would be a concern.”

Rachael Blackmore (left) after completing her first four-timer with victory on Mr Invincible
Rachael Blackmore (left) after completing her first four-timer with victory on Mr Invincible (Alan Magee/PA)

Blackmore’s four-timer was completed with victories on Eric Bloodaxe and Mr Incredible.

Eric Bloodaxe took the BetVictor Iriusg EBF Maiden Hurdle as the 5-4 favourite – sweeping to an eight-length winning margin over Supreme Jet, on his first start over jumps, giving O’Brien a double.

“He still looks big, and I’m sure there is a lot to work on still. He’s a hard horse to get fit,” said O’Brien’s assistant Brendan Powell.

“Rachael said he was always in control. He had a blow but he was always going to win.”

The Grand National-winning jockey capped another landmark day by winning on the De Bromhead-trained Mr Incredible. The 11-10 favourite had plenty to do but ate up the ground in the closing stages to collar Indiana Jones by two and a quarter lengths.

De Bromhead said: “We bought him off Colin Bowe after he was placed in a point-to-point, and he came well recommended. Chasing is his game.

“Rachel said he suddenly took off after the second last. He’s a funny fella at home, so we haven’t done much, but he would strike me as a stayer.”

Altior’s half-sister Bellatior (10-11 favourite) made a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares (Pro-Am) INH Flat Race.

The four-year-old, who cost €300,000 at the sales in August 2020, beat Kilbarry Chloe by three-quarters of a length to complete a double for the Elliott stable.

“She’s a little bit hot but she’s very nice,” said the winning trainer.

“She’s going to be good. She was keen – but to pick up and go as she did was good. We’ll take our time with her and probably leave her now until the spring.”

Teahupoo strengthens Cheltenham options for Elliott

Gordon Elliott strengthened his hand in the four-year-old division when Teahupoo stretched his unbeaten record to three in the Norman Colfer Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Elliott already houses JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Zanahiyr and the next in the betting Quilixios, and following this performance Betfair cut Teahupoo to 10-1 from 14-1 for Cheltenham.

Always handy under Robbie Power, riding in his role as retained jockey for owners Robcour, the 4-9 favourite never looked in any real danger in the Grade Three affair.

Willie Mullins’ newcomer Tax For Max gave him most to think about, running a very promising race considering how keen he was in the early stages but still seven lengths behind at the line.

“I thought it was a good performance again,” said Elliott.

“I liked the way when he jumped the second-last, he kind of idled a bit and pricked his ears. Robert said when he gave him a squeeze at the back of it he was gone again.

“He’s improving the whole time. Obviously he’s in everything at Cheltenham, the Fred Winter, the Supreme and the Triumph.

“I’ll have a chat with Brian (Acheson, of Robcour). We have Cheltenham or we could come back here for the Grade Two at Easter which is only two weeks later.

“It wouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world if he stayed at home and came back here. There is a lot of water to go under the bridge over the next couple of weeks.”

He added: “I’d say he’ll stay three miles, he’s a real stayer and he’s probably the type of horse you need for a Triumph Hurdle because he stays. He’s a nice horse.”

Jason The Militant could go for the Champion Hurdle
Jason The Militant could go for the Champion Hurdle (Gary Carson/PA)

Jason The Militant struck for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle.

The 7-4 favourite made all and while Petit Mouchoir closed up two out, Blackmore’s mount went again, eventually scoring by seven and a half lengths.

De Bromhead said: “That was brilliant and I’m delighted for Peter Michael (owner). It was great to get it.

“He’s having a really good season, but it’s nice to win one as well, and he won it well. He’s a horse we’ve always thought a lot of. That’s his second graded win and he was just chinned in a Grade One.

“He’s in the Champion Hurdle and we’ll see. I think ground is important to him, he wants a good ease.

“He’s a horse that is improving all the time. He won over a mile and a quarter here on the Flat, so he’s got gears.

“The Aintree Hurdle is another interesting option. We’ll see what Peter would like to do, it’s not every day you have a contender for the Champion Hurdle.

“I just have a feeling that he might be better on a flatter track, but that’s just a theory.

“We’re delighted to win today, we targeted this race.”

Acapella Bourgeois had his Randox Grand National odds halved after winning the Bobbyjo Chase for the second time.

He had been available at 50-1 for Aintree prior to seeing off stablemate Burrows Saint in the Grade Three by four and three-quarter lengths.

Ridden by Danny Mullins, he was steadied into the last fence and kept on resolutely. The two had it between them from a long way out.

Burrows Saint, who was in receipt of 6lb, remains unchanged at 14-1 for Aintree with Betfair.

“I was telling the owner before the race that he wasn’t improving as an 11-year-old, but maybe I’m wrong!” said Mullins.

“I thought the younger horse might prove the one today so I’m surprised that he was able to do that, and do it so well. I’m delighted with him.

“Both of them love Fairyhouse. Burrows Saint will go for the National now and Acapella is in it too. I’d say they’ll both be Aintree bound.

“Burrows Saint needs to improve, but I still think he has that improvement in him and the winner is holding his form, which I’m very happy to see.

“Acapella Bourgeois looked like he was really enjoying it compared to Gowran. I didn’t think he’d be going for another handicap at 11 years of age, but that’s what it looks like at the moment.

“I’m not sure Burrows Saint was really in love with that ground, it was very testing, dead ground. I think once he gets livelier spring ground we’ll see a different horse, hopefully we do anyway.”

Teahupoo prevails as Youmdor crashes out at Fairyhouse

Teahupoo came out on top in a dramatic ITM Virtual Stallion Trial Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

The Willie Mullins-trained Youmdor looked a big threat when he loomed alongside Teahupoo (4-1) at the final flight, only for the 4-9 favourite to come down.

That left Gordon Elliott’s runner to win as he liked by 15 lengths in the hands of Robbie Power and make a winning debut for the County Meath handler. Teahupoo had won his only start for French trainer Gabriel Leenders at Auteuil in October.

Druid’s Altar was second with Autumn Evening half a length away in third.

“He’s a nice horse. Obviously we had a lot of luck on our side there with Willie’s horse going at the last,” said Elliott.

“I said to Robert ‘you were definitely beat’, but he said ‘I’m not so sure because my horse galloped from the last to the line’.

“He said he could see about three strides away from the last that (Paul) Townend’s horse was just starting to be squeezed along. I thought Willie’s horse would have won and we had luck on our side.

“He’s probably more of a stayer next year than a two-miler. I loved the way he put his head out and galloped from the last to the line.”

Teahuphoo was cut to 14-1 from 25-1 for the JCB Triumph Hurdle with Betfair, who left Youmdor unchanged at 14s.

Roseys Hollow (10-11 favourite) showed a neat turn of foot between the last two flights to run out a ready winner in division one of the Follow Fairyhouse ‘Racing From Home’ Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.

The Jonathan Sweeney-trained seven-year-old quickened nicely for Mark Walsh to open up a crucial advantage and the JP McManus-owned mare galloped on strongly to score by four lengths from main market rival Global Equity.

It was a poignant first winner of the year in Ireland for McManus, who suffered the tragic loss of his daughter-in-law Emma on December 30 at the age of 40.

“It was very good and it’s great to get it,” said Sweeney.

“It’s great for JP and his family in tragic times. I pass on my deepest sympathies to them. 

“She jumped well, travelled, did everything well and Mark was happy.

“We’ll get over today and I’ll have a chat with Frank (Berry). He’ll talk to JP and see what the plan is. She’s a nice mare.”

La Chanteuse (10-1) caused a minor upset in division two when flooring the 8-11 favourite Manitopark Aa.

JJ Slevin pushed the Stuart Crawford-trained seven-year-old into the lead before the second-last flight and went on to score by six lengths. Norwigi was 16 lengths back in third place.

“We’ve always thought plenty of her. On her first run back at Down Royal, Ben (Crawford) rode her and he was disappointed with her,” said Crawford.

“She probably really needed it as she blew up halfway around. She came here today and obviously has come on a good bit from it.

“JJ gave her a good ride and it’s great to get it, they are hard to win.”

He added: “We were disappointed not to get a bit of black type with her in her bumpers. We didn’t sell her, and she’s owned by my mother, so there is a bit of extra pressure on.

“She’s entitled to take her chance in a better race. We could go across the water for a novice, but at this point in time we’d probably be trying for a bit of black type.”

Aramax gave Elliott a double after the victory of Teahupoo when scoring in the McManus silks in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.

The 14-1 chance defeated the 8-11 favourite Port Stanley by two and a half lengths in the hands of Keith Donoghue.

“He won the Fred Winter (at Cheltenham) last year. Keith said he got an awful lot of confidence from the last day and he was a different horse. He was happy,” said Elliott.

“It’s great to get him back winning with him being a Cheltenham winner the year before.”

Gerri Colombe (8-13 favourite) gave Elliott a treble with an easy success in the Racing Again January 30th (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.

A point-to-point winner for Colin Bowe, the £240,000 purchase looked an exciting prospect when scorching home by 24 lengths under Jamie Codd.

“He’s a nice horse. He’s probably going to be a big chaser more than anything, a big staying horse down the road. We like him,” said Elliott.

“I don’t think you’ll see a whole lot more of him this season, he might have one more run. Obviously I’ll have to talk to Brian (Acheson), but these horses are all bought for the future. He’s one for down the road.”

When asked if he could be a Cheltenham horse, he added:- “If I put my hand on my heart I’d probably say it just mightn’t be the right thing to do, but obviously I’ll have to speak to the owner.”

Gerri Colombe was introduced at 14-1 for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham with Betfair.