‘Awesome’ Sceaux in Arkle romp

Un De Sceaux, owned by Eddie O’Connell from Glanmire and trained by Willie Mullins, put up what can only be described as an astonishing performance to land the Grade 1 Frank Ward Solicitors’ Arkle Novice Chase.

‘Awesome’ Sceaux in Arkle romp

It is a case of all guns blazing for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham now and bookmaker reaction to this tremendous display was swift.

Ladbrokes took evasive action immediately and make him 4-6, from 7-4, while Boylesports offered evens from 2-1 and, with Paddy Power, it was 4-5 from 2’s.

He jumped beautifully at the front for Ruby Walsh and simply destroyed two high-class rivals in Clarcam and Gilgamboa.

Clarcam tried his case off the home turn, but Walsh merely let out an inch of rein and Un De Sceaux bounded away.

The seven-year-old crossed the line 15 lengths clear of Clarcam, with Gilgamboa, who wasn’t helped by a blunder five out, another half a length behind in third.

“There’s only one target for him at Cheltenham (Arkle), I have to be pleased with that” said Mullins.

“I was concerned about the good ground today. He is not at full fitness yet, there is a bit to work off. I thought he was awesome.

“His jumping was fantastic and he looked reasonably settled, although I haven’t spoken to Ruby yet.

“He stood off the first down the back and got a bit close to the second last, but otherwise was very good.

“He jumped the last like a racehorse.”

Said Walsh: “I could hear something (behind) at the third last and wondered would he pick up and he did. I love the way he attacks his fences, even when he’s wrong he won’t back off. He did settle, we just went along at a good gallop.”

* Yesterday’s attendance was 8,216 compared to 7,336 last year.

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