Schindlers Hunt: halved in price for Ryanair Chase after surprise successPICTURE: Caroline Norris
Surprise return to limelight for Schindlers
Report: Leopardstown, Sunday
Leopardstown Handicap Chase (Grade A) 2m5f
THE 16-1 chance Schindlers Hunt, who was once an Arkle hope, relished a step up in trip to give trainer Dessie Hughes a memorable victory and earn quotes of 16-1 and 20-1 for the Ryanair Chase in March.
Finger Onthe Pulse and Carrigeen Kalmia looked in control leading the field over the second fence in the back straight but Paddy Flood quickly squeezed Schindlers Hunt through the pair to make it three in line jumping six from home.
Carrigeen Kalmia, who had made most of the running, was the first to crack and the winner outjumped the 7-4 favourite Finger Onthe Pulse to take the lead with three fences to go, drawing away to win by four lengths.
Schindlers Hunt, who landed the Irish Arkle in 2007, was left out of the entries for the Arkle at Cheltenham the same year due to a clerical error and has never reach the heights his early years promised, although he did finish fourth to Master Minded in last season's Champion Chase.
But Paddy Flood, who rode the nine-year-old to his first chase success three years ago, may well have found the key to unlocking that talent, having suggested a step up in trip would suit.
"He was running so well over two miles last season that we stuck with it. It's nice to see that he gets that trip, and he might even stay three miles," said trainer Dessie Hughes, adding: "'He appreciated the better ground and we will consider the Ryanair Chase."
Schindlers Hunt was halved for the Ryanair Chase by both Victor Chandler, who go 20-1 from 40-1, and William Hill, who go just 16-1 from 33-1.
Finger Onthe Pulse fought the Jack Doyle-ridden Kilcrea Asla all the way to the line but gave way in the end to finish third, ahead of a staying-on Vic Venturi, who had been outpaced early on, and last year's winner Mister Top Notch.
The disappointment of the race was 2006 Coral Cup-winner Sky's The Limit who was sent off at 5-1 but never got going again after a mistake at the second fence.