Thyestes glory for Jadanli
18:09, 24 Jan 2013
Jadanli prevailed in a tight finish to the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase to propel trainer Paul Gilligan back into the limelight.
A Grade One winner in the Powers Gold Cup in 2010, Jadanli had gone nearly three years without a win, although he was third in this race 12 months ago.
Winners had been hard to come by since that Fairyhouse success for Gilligan, who tasted Cheltenham Festival glory in 2010 with Berties Dream.
A loyal band of owners stuck by him and the victory of Jadanli (25-1) in the valuable race proved once again that given the tools Gilligan is a capable trainer.
Andrew Lynch was always travelling well on the 11-year-old and seemed to have the race won when going clear at the second-last, only for Tarquinius to battle back strongly under Davy Condon and in the end the winning distance was just a head.
Panther Claw ran on for third with Sole Witness fourth.
The Westener Boy and Bishopsfurze were early casualties for Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh respectively.
He was last seen pulling up in the Welsh National and Gilligan, who trains him for his father, Eamon, said: "His run in the Welsh National was absolutely super. I think better fancied horses than him pulled up before him. He deserved a win.
"He'll get an entry for the Irish National and I'll aim him towards that more so than Aintree. He'll also be entered there but the ground might be too good for him.
"We've had a rough time of it but it's a game that me, my wife Natalie and the kids love.
"We had some very good owners but also some bad ones and thankfully the very good ones have stuck with us through the years and I can't thank them enough."
Tony Martin's Bog Warrior continued his impressive run of form since reverting to timber with a smooth success in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle.
A Grade One-winning novice chaser last season, a couple of falls in that sphere saw him lose his confidence.
Wins at Fairyhouse and Punchestown had helped rebuild that, however, and Davy Russell set out to make all on the 8-11 favourite.
Walsh tracked him on Zaidpour but never looked like quite getting to the leader, except when Bog Warrior went left at the final flight.
For a few brief moments Walsh sensed he had a chance but Bog Warrior soon got going again to win by three and a quarter lengths.
Paddy Power cut him to 10-1 from 12s for the World Hurdle.
Martin said: "He's a very good horse.
"It was his first time at three miles but I was confident enough he would get it. He gets any trip and has a bit of class.
"I wanted to get today out of the way and things are in the balance as regards Cheltenham. The lads (owners Gigginstown House Stud) have so many horses so we'll see how things pan out.
"He jumped his hurdles a bit big the last day but came down today and he's there as a hurdler or a chaser when we want him.
"I shouldn't have run him after he fell at Naas last year and he wasn't fully ready when he fell up the north (Down Royal) but it's easy to be wise after the event.
"The World Hurdle could maybe be a bit too good for him but the ground is also all important and I wouldn't like to see him run on ground too fast."
The Willie Mullins-trained Dogora is likely to be aimed at Fairyhouse rather than Cheltenham after staying unbeaten in the Nugent Spirit 25 Horsebox Hurdle.
The four-year-old prevailed in a titanic battle with Sabrina Harty's Dalasiri, who landed a monster gamble last time out.
The lead changed hands a few times in the straight and the 2-5 favourite was made to pull out all the stops.
"It was hard work and both horses seemed to idle," said Mullins.
"Dalasiri seemed to idle first and then our lad. When they both drifted apart they seemed to idle.
"Our fellow is really a chaser.
"They are two nice horses. I'd prefer to keep him for Fairyhouse but he'll get an entry for the Fred Winter."
Mullins bookended the card as Sizing Tennessee took the closing bumper for owners Ann and Alan Potts and will now head straight to the Festival.
"The plan coming here was to go straight for the Cheltenham Bumper and I don't think it will change now," said Mullins.