McGarvey makes great recovery to steer Field home in front

Sun 5 Mar 2017

Jody McGarvey made a remarkable recovery after Great Field was almost down at the final fence to land the spoils in the Irish Stallion Farm EBF Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

McGarvey had one foot out of the irons when the Willie Mullins-trained front-runner had his nose on the turf after jumping the last.

The jockey nearly went out the side door, but somehow managed to keep the partnership intact and was able to guide the 15-8 favourite past the post in first place.

He came home eight lengths clear of Don't Touch It, who was wearing the same colours of owner JP McManus.

McGarvey said: "My heart skipped a few beats, all right.

"He jumped super in the early part of the race. He was real quick, but just doesn't have a lot of scope.

"At the last he just knuckled at the back of it. I was rolling around on his back, but luckily I kept the partnership intact.

"He was very low over the last three at Gowran the last day and it was the same at the second-last today.

"He has a fair engine and is well able to pick himself up at the back of one after making a mistake and gallop on.

"I went up the straight with only one iron, but I had enough as he had put the race to bed at that stage. Thankfully it didn't cost us."

Mullins said: "It was a great performance by horse and rider. He's improved a lot from Gowran, and should keep improving. We'll have to find another target for him.

"I don't really want to go to Aintree and I don't think there is anything for him at Fairyhouse as I don't want to go over two and a half miles in the Ryanair.

"First of all he has to come out of this and we'll see where we go then."

Woodland Opera was third, while Identity Thief disappointed by only finishing fourth.

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