Straightforward for Yorkhill

Yorkhill justified his cramped odds in the 'Money Back On Fallers' At Novice Chase with a facile victory at Leopardtstown.

Yorkhill made it two from two over fences

Sent off the 1/5 favourite for the Grade Three contest, the seven-year-old ran out a far easier winner than the winning margin implied.

An easy winner of a beginners chase on his debut over the larger obstacles, last season's Neptune Novices' Hurdle winner took the step up in class in his stride.

Settled in third in the early stages, jockey Ruby Walsh soon took his charge to the head of affairs and he produced some prodigious leaps down the back straight although he did jump slightly left on occasion.

Gangster paid the price for trying to race with the favourite from some way out while the patiently ridden Jett attempted to pick up the pieces late on but a shake of the reins from Walsh was enough for Yorkhill to secure an eighth career success from just nine starts.

Mullins said: "He takes a good grip. He jumps a bit left, but that suits around here. Ruby rode him with confidence, but he was obviously very strong when he took up the running going into the back straight.

"We thought there was enough pace in the race, but he managed to change gear and made the running.

"Ruby was just holding on to him in front. He jumped well and did what he had to do.

"We thought we would be getting a lead from the two in front, but obviously our fellow's cruising speed is a lot higher than theirs, which means we could come back in trip if we want.

"His pedigree and everything suggests he could go out in trip, but whether he's too strong to go a longer trip or not, I don't know. At least he got today's job done and we'll look forward to wherever he goes the next time."

He added: "I'll get him home now and see. I'll have a chat with Ruby to see whether he wants to go again with him (before Cheltenham). Experience is no harm for those novice chasers.

"He's easy enough to train, but a challenge to ride. David Casey rides him in the morning and he settles well. He gets him on his own. When you try to keep him in company that might be the issue, but he's not as bad as a lot of other horses.

"I'm not trying to interfere with his jumping much and I'm hoping with more experience on the track he'll get out of that habit.

"He makes enough ground jumping and he's got a good engine so I'm not inclined to interfere with him much."

Walsh said: "He was a bit keen and we went a fair gallop. He'll learn a lot from today.

"It was typical Yorkhill in front, not doing a lot, but when they got within a few lengths of him he went on again and there was loads left in the tank.

"I thought I went an hour too soon on him in the Neptune last year, when he jumped the last that day he ran around and pulled up. That's just him.

"He jumps to his left, but that's not a worry – Leopardstown's left, Cheltenham's left and Aintree is left."

Yorkhill is the 7/4 favourite with Sky Bet for the JLT Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

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