Castlegrace Paddy shines in Hilly Way Chase win at Cork

Castlegrace Paddy shines in Hilly Way Chase win at Cork
Castlegrace Paddy and Paul Townend (centre) returns after winning the Grade 2 Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase with Cheltenham Gold Cup 3rd Anibale Fly (left) and Cheltenham Champion Chase winner Speical Tiara (right). Healy Racing Photo

Castlegrace Paddy took full advantage of the early exit of Great Field to run out a most impressive winner of the Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase at Cork.

Great Field was sent off the 4-7 favourite for the Grade Two contest and was bowling along in front when coming down at the second fence, leaving former Champion Chase hero Special Tiara in front.

Henry de Bromhead's runner opened up a sizeable advantage, but came back to the field and Castlegrace Paddy and Paul Townend landed in front four from home and really asserted going to to two out.

By the time he got to the last he only had to jump it, and that he did before cruising to a 16-length success from Doctor Phoenix, with Special Tiara hanging on for third.

Delighted trainer Pat Fahy said of his 13-2 winner, who has been beaten just once in four starts over fences: "It was a pity Andrew Lynch couldn't ride him as he'd all the schooling down with him, but he got injured. I was delighted to get Paul to fill in.

"He wasn't jumping fluently in Punchestown and ran a bit flat, but he's summered fierce well and was in great shape coming here. He's just a different horse this year. He'd a few problems last year, but is all there now and has had no injuries.

"He was working out of this world and if we didn't win here we were going to struggle this year."

He added on future plans: "He'll probably go to Leopardstown now at Christmas and if he performs well hopefully he can go on to Cheltenham in March.

"After that he suffers from allergies and that may have been his problem in Punchestown. When the growth starts, the pollen starts so we'll aim to have him at his peak in March.

"Paul said he would be better going left-handed. He handled that ground well, but he seems to be versatile enough.

"Today Great Field came down and we were there to pick up the spoils. If he stayed up it would have been some race, but you have to get your bit of luck as well."

Great Field's trainer Willie Mullins was at Punchestown, where he said: "Great Field is fine and Jody (McGarvey) is fine.

"The horse got up and galloped around and jumped afterwards. David Casey (assistant trainer) was very happy with him anyway."

Castlegrace Paddy proved to be jewel in the crown on a fine afternoon for the title-chasing Townend, who enjoyed three other winners - including Camelia De Cotte in the Grade Three mares' novice chase - and was just denied a five-timer when Eight And Bob was edged out in the last.

PA

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