Racing Round Up From St Stephen’s Day

There was a massive upset in the feature Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at hot favourite Vautour, sent off at odds of 1-4, couldn’t live with the Gordon Elliott-trained Clarcam who ran out a most-impressive 17-length winner. Bryan Cooper sent Clarcam to the front leaving the back straight and he barely have to move a muscle as he cruised clear of Vautour who made a desperate mistake down the back straight. Clarcam was returned at odds of 8-1 and he was given a quote of 8-1 for the Racing Post Arkle at the Cheltenham festival by Ladbrokes. Champion owner JP McManus enjoyed a hugely successful day one of the Christmas festivals landing the big race on day one at Limerick, the Grade 2 Shannon Airport Novice Chase, with the classy Gilgamboa. Making his second start over fences for McManus, trainer Enda Bolger and jockey Mark Walsh, he jumped superbly throughout the €39,000 chase and had the measure of market rival Adriana Des Mottes when she fell at the last fence. This performance ranks Gilgamboa highly among the Irish novice chasers and he is now an early contender for the Racing Post Arkle at Cheltenham in March. Meanwhile, Faugheen has landed one of the big races of the day at Kempton – the Willie Mullins/Ruby Walsh combination came home at 11 to 4 on ahead of AP McCoy’s Purle Bay in second.

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