Magnanmity (right) jumps the second-last with Jessies DreamPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Shock as Jessies Dream loses out to Magnanimity
Report: Leopardstown, Sunday
Tote Pick Six Killiney Novice Chase (Grade 2) 2m5f, 5yo+
LEADING RSA Chase contender Jessies Dream suffered a shock defeat to the Dessie Hughes-trained Magnanimity at Leopardstown on Sunday.
Trained by Gordon Elliott for David Johnson, Jessies Dream had looked set for a relatively easy warm-up for the Cheltenham Festival and was sent off the 4-9 favourite to land the Killiney Novice Chase, which was reduced to three runners following the on-the-day defections of Bob Lingo and Western Charmer.
However, despite appearing to have plenty in the tank approaching the penultimate fence under Timmy Murphy, Jessies Dream was unable to collar the Davy Russell-ridden Magnanimity, who scored by three-quarters of a length, returning the 9-4 second favourite.
Jessies Dream, who claimed the scalp of Mikael D'Haguenet in the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse last month, was a general 12-1 chance for the RSA on Sunday morning but was eased to 16-1 by a number of firms, while Magnanimity, who runs in the famous maroon and white colours of MichaelO'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud, was quoted at 16-1 (first show) by William Hill for the race.
His connections are targeting the Grade 1 Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase back at Leopardstown on February 6 before committing to Cheltenham.
"That wasn't a surprise to us," Hughes said. "He's a good, solid three-mile chaser who wants every yard of it and goes well on heavy ground.
"We'll go for the Moriarty here next month and he'll get an entry in the RSA Chase. I'd love to go to Cheltenham with him if it's not too soon and the ground's soft enough."
Jessies Dream will head straight to Cheltenham, with Elliott predicting a different outcome on more suitable ground.
"The best horse was second today," he said. "He won't come back here for the Moriarty and we'll freshen him up for Cheltenham. He'll improve on better ground."
The ground was the reason for Bob Lingo's absence, while Western Charmer was lame.
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