Yesterday at Clonmel we had a mouth-watering renewal of the Clonmel Oil Chase and you couldn't be much happier with Champagne Fever's performance in the race.
It's obviously a big season for Champagne Fever (pictured)as he steps out of the novice chase ranks and attempts some of the bigger Grade One races with the King George and the Gold Cup being on his agenda and yesterday was an ideal starting point.
It was far from an easy race because, with the exception of Rathlin, the horses in the race were all Grade One winners and four of them already had a run under their belt this season.
Champagne Fever was getting allowances from the entire field but he certainly couldn't have won the race with much more authority than he did. He'll undoubtedly come on for the run, and will also be better in an even stronger race as he did move very keenly yesterday, so there are a lot of positives to take out of the run.
Amazingly, that was only Champagne Fever's second win over fences but that is testament to how tough the novice chases are in in Ireland. The staying chasing division is wide open and you could see a horse like him progress to make his mark. He has won at two Cheltenham Festivals so has a lot of class.