Young star Gordon Elliott takes Champion Chase victory at Down Royal
Gerri Colombe made a late burst to claim a surprise victory over last year’s winner Envoi Allen in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal.
Gordon Elliott’s 4-7 favorite looked set to be beaten two from home after being blocked by stablemate Conflated.
But jockey Jack Kennedy got a big finish on the star youngster as he overtook Rachael Blackmore’s horse in the final stretch to win by a neck.
“I didn’t think he was going to get up,” Kennedy told RTE Sport.
“Conflated jumped violently left at the last second Envoi Allen left up.
“I was a bit scared then when he jumped over the last one but to be fair to him, he dug deep.”
Only four horses were posted but it was still a high quality field with 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Henry de Bromhead Minella Indo also in line along with stablemate Envoi Allen.
Conflated, himself the winner of the Irish Gold Cup last year at Ballyna Lobhar, made the first run but the four were still in contention two from home before Minella dropped Indo back.
After Conflated was sent in after the last second, Gerri Colombe had to dart to the right.
That left him well behind the leading duo at the end but Kennedy’s tips saw young Elliott make a stunning run on the outside as he rose in the final stride to beat Blackmore’s 3-1. hit
Conflated, priced at 17-2, was further back in third after also running a superb race in the Down Royal Grade One feature.