Arvika Ligeonniere and Ruby Walsh winning the Clonmel Oil ChasePICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
slick in Oil Chase win
Report: Clonmel, Thursday
Clonmel Oil Chase (Grade 2) 2m4f, 5yo+
THE sight of Ruby Walsh coasting home in the pink and green Rich Ricci silks has become a familiar sight in Graded races in recent years and Arvika Ligeonniere became the latest entry on the list when landing the Clonmel Oil Chase with ease.
Sitting second behind pacesetter Rubi Light, Walsh was clearly keen for some cover on the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old and didn't take things up until the home straight.
The pair put the race to bed at the second last with Walsh far from all out as they came home three and a half lengths clear of Toner D'Oudairies, who came through for second, while Texas Jack was third.
"He hadn't been impressing us at home. His weight was spot and he's done a lot of work but he hadn't been exciting us, so we were a bit dubious," said Walsh.
"Trying to get two and a half on him on his first run, you're always trying to keep him relaxed and let him jump as well as he can but I needed one at the second last and he put the race to bed."
Arvika Ligeonniere sat second as the small field raced down the backPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Arvika Ligeonniere continued his record of winning every race over fences that he has completed, with the only two blemishes coming in January when falling four out at Leopardstown in the Arkle Novice Chase and then when pulling up in the Racing Post Arkle, won by Simonsig.
He bounced back to winning ways on his final start as a novice, when landing the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase at the Punchestown festival and it could be the race at Cheltenham under the same sponsorship that proves to be his long-term target.
As with any impressive performance in a Graded race the focus immediately switched to their Cheltenham potential. Paddy Power made the winner a 10-1 shot for the Ryanair Chase at the Festival, while Boylesports went 14-1. Betfred went 20-1 (from 25) for the Champion Chase.