Thief scores again at Punchestown
Identity Thief maintained his unbeaten record over fences in the Ryans Cleaning Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown to lead home a one-two-three for Henry de Bromhead.
Identity Thief races away from the final fence with Ordinary World (obscured) on his way to victory at Punchestown.
A Grade One winner over hurdles, Identity Thief is one of the brightest prospects in the novice chase division and looked a natural on his fencing debut in October.
He did not have it all his own way on this occasion, though, with stablemate Ordinary World outjumping the winner at several fences.
Not surprisingly, Identity Thief's superior speed on the flat was the difference after the last and Bryan Cooper did not have to get too serious with the 2/5 favourite.
After a flick of the whip, the Fighting Fifth winner skipped a length clear of Ordinary World, with Attribution running on nicely for third spot.
Cooper said: "He got the job done. The ground wouldn't be ideal and he'll be a better horse on better ground.
"To be fair, we went a proper gallop the whole way and he'll have learned a lot more than at Punchestown last time.
"He jumped with fluency. I would have won a lot easier if I'd asked him at the last but I went and popped it.
"That was a good education. We got a lead and I'm happy. I was never in doubt from the third-last. I felt I always had him covered, and it's another learning curve."
"Of what we could see of it he looked good. I'm delighted with Ordinary World as well, he ran a cracker. We always hoped he'd improve for fences, which he has," said De Bromhead.
"Identity was good. Bryan said he was good and he was very happy with him. He said he won comfortably.
"He said they went a good gallop the whole way and he jumped well.
"I think the two-mile-one at Leopardstown at Christmas is the obvious race for him and probably Ordinary World as well.
"We'll see, as I think there is a winners' race at Naas just after that so we'll see what Chris (Jones, owner of Ordinary World) would like to do. But for Identity Thief, I think definitely that.
"I'm delighted to get it out of the way and I thought it was a good performance."
He added: "I wouldn't underestimate the other lad. He was always going to be a better chaser. He never quite saw it out over hurdles."
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