Quito De La Roque on top in Kinloch Brae
Report: Thurles, Thursday
Matty Ryan Memorial Kinloch Brae Chase (Grade 2) 2m4f, 6yo+
GOLD CUP outsider Quito De La Roque secured his first win for 14 months when landing the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on Thursday.
The Colm Murphy-trained nine-year-old, who runs in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud, looked a star staying chaser in the making when winning a Grade 1 novice at Punchestown and then beating Sizing Europe in the JNWine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal in 2011, but has failed to fire since and was a well-beaten sixth in the Lexus Chase last month.
However, he got back on track when defeating Roi De Mee and Joncol in the Kinloch Brae.
"He's taken a little bit longer this year to come to himself," said Murphy.
"He's had more than his fair share of niggly problems with his sinuses and his back and so forth. We've had stops and starts with him but it's nice to be back on track. He's entered in the Hennessy and Gold Cup, we don't have that many options with him."
Quito De La Roque is 33-1 with bet365 for the Betfred-backed Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, but can be backed at 100-1 with Ladbrokes.