Stable Plate: Road To Respect flies home for Meade
Bryan Cooper: rode a second winner for the week
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos Road To Respect thrashes Plate rivals By Keith Melrose 4:18PM 16 MAR 2017
Report: Cheltenham, Thursday
Brown Advisory And Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase (Grade 3), 2m4f 166y, 5yo+
GIGGINSTOWN HOUSE STUD and Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary got his winner on Ryanair Chase day as novice Road To Respect swept to an easy victory under Bryan Cooper.
The pace was frenetic, and turning in, Baron Alco was out in front for Jamie Moore.
But despite his best efforts, Moore had no answer when Cooper, loomed up to challenge. He stretched clear to a six-length win over his fellow novice, with Bouvreuil third and Thomas Crapper fourth.
Favourite Diamond King, who had been one of the strongest handicap fancies of the meeting, was always struggling after an early mistake and ultimately pulled up by Davy Russell after being hampered down the back straight.
Cooper said: "He travelled really well. I was a bit worried about his experience but I gave him a bit of room and he loved it."
Meade breaks new ground
The win was a second in a row in the race for Gigginstown, following Empire Of Dirt last year, and a first over fences at the festival for trainer Noel Meade, whose hurdle winners here have included Go Native and Nicanor.
Owner Michael O'Leary said: "Winners are always good, even in the handicaps. He's a close relative to Road To Riches and he loved the good ground. I thought he had no chance today but Bryan gave him a brilliant ride."
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