Alpha off the mark over fences

Alpha Des Obeaux opened his account over fences at the second attempt with an assured display in the Beginners Chase.

Alpha Des Obeaux (r) is off the mark over fences

An impressive winner of the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park in January, the Mouse Morris-trained six-year-old went on to chase home Thistlecrack in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham, the fourth time he has filled the runner-up spot at Grade One level.

He disappointed on his chasing debut at Tipperary at the start of the month, finishing last of five runners, but was the 1-2 favourite to get back on track in this lesser contest.

For the most part Alpha Des Obeaux fenced fluently in the hands of Grand National-winning jockey David Mullins.

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Round Tower did his best to make a race of it in the straight, but Gigginstown House Stud's runner produced a big leap at the final obstacle and was pushed out to score by a length and a half.

Morris said: "That was satisfactory. He idled a bit in front but his jumping was perfect. I'm not sure where he'll go next, although I'd like to find a winners of one.

"He wants two and a half miles plus."

Paddy Power left Alpha Des Obeaux unchanged at 8/1 for the RSA Chase at Cheltenham next March while he is 5/1 with Sky Bet to win any race at the Cheltenham Festival.

Jockey Jonathan Burke was reportedly "stiff and sore" after suffering a fall from Total Recall and was stood down for the rest of the day.

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