dunvegan-team-consider-champion-chase-after-fairyhouse-glory

Dunvegan team consider Champion Chase after Fairyhouse glory

Dunvegan made it four from four at Fairyhouse in the Dan And Joan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase.

Pat Fahy’s grey won a bumper and a maiden hurdle at the County Meath track four years ago – and completed the set with a handicap chase victory at the end of November.

The nine-year-old was the 7/2 joint-favourite to maintain his unbeaten course record in this €80,000 feature under Bryan Cooper and ultimately got the job done in fine style.

After tracking his pacesetting market rival Blackbow for much of the two-mile-one-furlong contest, Dunvegan hit the front in the home straight.

Blackbow briefly threatened to rally, but Fahy’s charge was winning the argument on the approach to the final fence and jumped it well to seal a three-and-a-quarter-length verdict.

“When I saw him jumping the second-last, I started to enjoy it,” said Fahy.

“It was straightforward, before Christmas he was bouncing but then he just went a little bit short. We worked on him and he showed today that he wasn’t feeling anything.

“Bryan gave the horse a brilliant ride and we always thought a lot of him. He won two bumpers and beat a lot of winners in Punchestown, then he was so impressive when he won his maiden hurdle here.

“He kind of went backwards on us and looked like a three-mile chaser, but this seems to be his trip.”

On future plans, the trainer added: “We have him in the Queen Mother. I know you are really jumping up in class but he’s done us no harm so we’ll see.

“There is also the Dublin Racing Festival. We’ll move on with him now and give him the chance to compete against the big ones over the shorter trips.

“He hasn’t been beaten here as he won his bumper, hurdles and now two chases. He obviously loves it and it’s a pity we can’t win the Irish National with him now!”

Fahy was also delighted with the performance of Castlegrace Paddy, who was best of the rest in third.

The 11-year-old had been off the track since suffering a broken blood vessel and pulling up at Gowran Park in early October.

“I was absolutely thrilled with Castlegrace Paddy. Davy (Russell) was delighted with him, he ran some race because that would be his first proper gallop,” said Fahy.

“It was a beautiful run and I couldn’t be happier.”