Road To Respect takes Irish Daily Star Chase at Punchestown

Thu 19 Oct 2017
Road To Respect Ptown 03

By Racinguk.comstaff

Road To Respect wore down the game front-runner Kilcarry Bridge to claim top honours in the Irish Daily Star Chase at Punchestown.

A quality field of seven runners went to post for the Grade Three feature, with Jonjo O'Neill's Minella Rocco the 7-4 favourite on his first start since finishing second in last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup.

However, with 25-1 shot Kilcarry Bridge setting a sound gallop under an enterprising ride from Danny Mullins, Minella Rocco did not always jump fluently and was on the back foot from an early stage.

Only Noel Meade's Cheltenham Festival and Ryanair Gold Cup winner Road To Respect and fellow Gigginstown House Stud-owned runner Sub Lieutenant were within striking distance of Kilcarry Bridge rounding the home turn, with Minella Rocco following them in.

Road To Respect, a 7-2 chance under Sean Flanagan, hit the front after the final fence and passed the post a length and a half clear.

Kilcarry Bridge was a clear second ahead of Sub Lieutenant in third and Minella Rocco in fourth.

Flanagan said: "I won cosily enough in the end. He was just very rusty. He's loads of work done and was plenty fit enough, but he was just a bit rusty over his fences. He's probably improved a bit from last year. He's so much bigger and stronger.

"I wouldn't have any reason not to train him for the Gold Cup."

Meade said: "I'm delighted. We had Disko and him in this and felt this fella just comes a little bit quicker and the other fella takes a little more work. I think Disko will go to the north (JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal). It could well be that this fella goes for the second-season novice in the north, I don't know, we'll see what happens.

"There is a board meeting every time and decisions are made. In fairness, Mike and Eddie (O'Leary) do sort of row in with you and go with what you say. It's not all one-way traffic or anything like that.

"There are other horses to be considered. I know with Mike, the one thing he always seems to do is run in Grade Ones so if we go in a good race there will be no problem with him."

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