Le Richebourg in the Arkle picture after Leopardstown triumph

Le Richebourg in the Arkle picture after Leopardstown triumph

Le Richebourg got his Grade One reward over fences at the second attempt when leading home a one-two for trainer Joseph O'Brien in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Beaten only half a length by Delta Work in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse after being successful on his first two starts over the bigger obstacles, the JP McManus-owned six-year-old returned to winning ways in style.

Mark Walsh had Le Richebourg (3-1) close to the pace which his stablemate Us And Them helped make, while the 7-4 favourite Mengli Khan was held up towards the rear.

Though he tried to close, Mengli Khan did not have the pace to threaten and Le Richebourg shrugged aside Us And Them to score by four and a half lengths. Voix Du Reve was third, with Mengli Khan only fourth.

O'Brien said: "Mark gave him a lovely ride and he jumped very well. The last day he ran a cracker, but I think the tempo of a two-mile race probably suited him better.

"He was good over hurdles, but probably disappointed us slightly and since he's gone over fences he's been very good.

"The obvious thing to do would be to come back here for the Dublin Racing Festival. More than likely he's an Arkle horse."

He added: "Us And Them was always going to be better over fences than hurdles. He jumps fantastic and ran a cracker."

Le Richebourg was given quotes of 12-1 by Betfair and cut from 8-1 from 20-1 with Boylesports for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March.

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