Boston Bob in action as he secures a remarkable victory at LeopardstownPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Boston Bob leaves it
late for narrow victory
Report: Leopardstown, Saturday
Dr P.J. Moriarty Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2m5f, 5yo+
IN ANOTHER extraordinary finish to a top-class chase at Leopardstown, Boston Bob justified 6-4 favouritism, getting up on the line to deny Texas Jack despite Willie Mullins' eight-year-old having looked completely out of it as late as the final fence.
Somehow Paul Townend's mount found deep reserves as his power-packed finish drew him level with the leaders as the post loomed in what was another four-way finish to a Grade 1 chase at Leopardstown.
Just as in the Lexus Chase won by Tidal Bay over Christmas it was owner Graham Wylie's colours that were on the one finishing the fastest.
Lord Windermere just held off Lyreen Legend for third and there was less than two lengths covering the quartet.
“Once Paul dropped him back and gave him a breather he flew home,” said Mullins of his winner. “It was a very brave performance from the horse and we changed tactics from Navan where he jumped very big and carefully.”
This was a proper RSA trial from Mullins' charge. He jumped well and clearly stays very well. After the race Paddy Power left him unchanged at 11-2 for the RSA, but BetVictor were more impressed, shortening him to 4-1 from 6s.
“The drier ground at Cheltenham will be a huge help and I think he'll improve through the spring and on to Punchestown. In my head I was thinking of the Jewson for him but there is four or five weeks to go and certainly if it was soft I wouldn't mind going for the Jewson, but it does look like he wants a longer trip,” said Mullins.
This was a fantastic race, but one which Boston Bob never looked like winning. He seemed to have lost the battle for the lead with Lyreen Legend two from home and initially it was Dessie Hughes's charge who was the one to catch. However Bryan Cooper looked to have gone for home too early on his mount, as first Lord Windermere and then Texas Jack took over the lead.
For all the world it looked as if Noel Meade's horse would hold on up the run-in, but Townend, although struggling on Boston Bob, certainly hadn't gone for everything, and the son of Bob Back suddenly switched into turbo and began to eat up the ground on the trio ahead of him to just get up on the line.