Classy Gilgamboa shines in hunter chase success at Thurles

Sun 21 Jan 2018

Gilgamboa looks a force to be reckoned with in the hunter chase division judging by his victory in the Arctic Tack Stud Hunters Chase at Thurles.

A Grade One winner in his pomp, as well as finishing fourth in the 2016 Grand National, Enda Bolger's 10-year-old competes at a lower level these days and arrived on the back of a defeat of the reopposing Venitien De Mai at Down Royal over Christmas.

A slick leap three out carried the 6-4 favourite to the front, although long-time leader My Murphy soon regained the initiative and last year's winner Foxrock also made his presence felt in the gruelling conditions.

Gilgamboa and Foxrock approached the final fence with it between them but Nina Carberry conjured a better jump out of Gilgamboa and he had more petrol in the tank than Foxrock, who faded and only just held the rallying My Murphy for second, 10 lengths adrift of the winner.

Bolger said: "It has been a credit to everyone to keep the show on the road today and that's his ground, as he suffers with his knees.

"He's not qualified for Cheltenham and could run in the Tetratema next and then the Joseph O'Reilly Chase, so we'll keep him on the home-front this season.

"Things were a bit messy early on, but it was grand to win another one with him and it's great to have Nina back riding over fences, too.

"Ground might be an issue with him going back to Aintree as that's his ground and we'd like to have him around for another couple of years."

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