Cavalier’s Charlie Hall shock
Cue Card couldn't quite hold off Irish Cavalier and Menorah as the Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase produced a real turn-up.
Irish Cavalier ridden by Jonathan Moore (left) clears the last fence to win the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase from Menorah and Cue Card.
When Paddy Brennan sent the favourite to the front on the final circuit, all looked to be going to plan for the odds-on favourite, as his mount produced some thrilling leaps.
But he was never really able to shake off the chasing pack and three from home, Irish Cavalier, a 16/1 chance, drew alongside.
Cue Card dug admirably for his rider under pressure from that point and briefly appeared to be back in front heading to the final flight, but he was starting to tire at that point, and Irish Cavalier's biggest challenger suddenly became the rallying Menorah, winner of this race two years ago.
Irish jockey Jonathan Moore, only recently having begun a new role as stable jockey to trainer Rebecca Curtis, asked Irish Cavalier for everything, and his mount delivered, holding off Menorah (12/1) by three-quarters of a length.
"We went a real, strong gallop from the word go and my lad was a little bit on his head, but on the second circuit he started getting into a rhythm and winging his fences," said Moore.
"I didn't want to go there too soon and use him up, so I tried to keep him on Cue Card's heels and he just took me there. Four out, three out, he was absolutely awesome."
Curtis added: "I thought he'd run well, but I didn't think he'd win. He's still only seven and he obviously gets three miles. He's improving every season.
"There were a couple of blips last year, but they were when our horses were wrong – he did win at Punchestown.
"He thrives on his racing, the season before he ran twice at the Punchestown Festival."
Assessing plans, Curtis said: "It's possible he could run in the Betfair (Chase, Haydock on November 10), we have to start thinking of all the top three-mile races now.
"The more you race him, the better he is."
She added: "I'm pleased for Johnny. One thing I promised him when he came was that he'd ride them all, Grade Ones and handicappers."
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