Sunday 26 January 2020

Win written for Notebook

De Bromhead horse remains unbeaten over fences with first Grade One

SUCCESS: Rachael Blackmore celebrates her Grade One success on Notebook at Leopardstown. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post
SUCCESS: Rachael Blackmore celebrates her Grade One success on Notebook at Leopardstown. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post

Notebook continued his unbeaten record over fences with a convincing victory in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Having won twice at Punchestown, Notebook had no trouble stepping up to Grade One company, in the process taking the scalp of Fakir D'oudairies and Laurina.

Given a confident ride by Rachael Blackmore, Notebook (7-1) travelled well throughout the race as Djingle set the pace.

Making her move after the third-last fence, Blackmore sent Henry de Bromhead's six-year-old to the front at two out, from Royal Rendezvous and Fakir D'oudairies. Those two got close, which resulted in Mark Walsh briefly losing an iron on the latter.


Notebook was gone and went on to score by a length and a half from Fakir D'oudairies, while Laurina never got into it and was a big disappointment.

It was a big-race double for Blackmore and De Bromhead following the success of Aspire Tower in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle.

Notebook was slashed in price to 5-1 for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival with Betfair and RaceBets.

De Bromhead said: "It's what we hoped he might do. He jumped brilliant - he gallops and just loves fences. I think it was the first one down the back he took off outside the wings and my heart was in my mouth, but he's quick when he's in close as well. They went some gallop and that really suited him. He loves to gallop at speed.

"He can get a bit wound up. I think those two-milers need to be half-cracked to do what they do. They need that bit of madness to jump.

"The Irish Arkle is probably the obvious next one from here, but we'll see what they want to do."

Aspire Tower moved towards the head of ante-post lists for the JCB Triumph Hurdle following a dominant front-running display at Leopardstown.

A high-class performer on the Flat for Richard Hannon and latterly Steve Gollings, the son of Born To Sea made a smart start to his jumping career with De Bromhead at Punchestown last month.

Ridden from the front by Rachael Blackmore, the well-backed 15-8 favourite showed signs of his inexperience early on, but readily pulled clear from the home turn to land the Grade Two Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle by upwards of 18 lengths.

Paddy Power cut De Bromhead's youngster to 7-1 from 20-1 for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, making him the joint-favourite with Gary Moore's Goshen.

Mt Leinster outclassed his rivals in the Thorntons Recycling Maiden Hurdle.


Smart in bumpers last season, the Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old was an 11-4 chance in the hands of Paul Townend, having filled the runner-up spot on his first start over hurdles at Gowran Park a month ago.

Entoucas led the field into the straight, but Townend cut a confident figure in behind on board Mt Leinster - and the pair ultimately powered nine lengths clear for a facile victory.

Townend said: "I thought if he reproduced the run in Gowran it would make him competitive and any improvement would let him go and do what he's done.

"I'd hope he can make the step up to graded company."

Cedarwood Road was emphatic winner of the Bet With Tote Maiden Hurdle for trainer Gearoid O'Loughlin and jockey Davy Russell.

A never-nearer sixth on his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse last month, the 7-1 shot displayed marked improvement to score by 11 lengths. The trainer said: "He'll probably only have one more run this season and could come back here for the Dublin Racing Festival."

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