Trifolium produces another excellent leap at Leopardstown on SundayPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Trifolium in clover with impressive Arkle success
Report: Leopardstown, Sunday
Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2m1f, 5yo+
TRIFOLIUM surged to an ultra-impressive victory under jockey Bryan Cooper as favourite Defy Logic finished in fifth after breaking a blood vessel.
Trifolium was slashed to 7-1 (from 20) for the Racing Post Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival as a result of his success. William Hill make him an 8-1 chance (from 25).
Racing in typically gung-ho style, Defy Logic charged full throttle at the first fence and produced a terrific leap under Tony McCoy and set about running his rivals ragged, as he had done when defeating, among others, Champagne Fever on his previous outing.
However, the near-perfection that the seven-year-old had produced when jumping on his last start was missing on this occasion and he made his first mistake at the the first fence in the back straight.
He continued to charge along in front and a mistake from his main market rival Felix Yonger at the penultimate obstacle on the far side provided Defy Logy with a little extra space in the lead.
That space lasted for exactly one fence as Defy Logic made a bad error and lost momentum at the next allowing his rivals, led by the strong-travelling Trifolium, to close up and pass him jumping the second last.
Trifolium swept into the lead round the home turn under jockey Bryan Cooper and looked a complete class above the rest of the runners who were under severe pressure to catch him.
Trifolium cleared the final fence without a problem and charged home to win for trainer Charles Byrnes and owner Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud at 7-1.
Felix Yonger, who had slammed Trifolium by 15 lengths earlier in the season, stayed on for second with Mozoltov, also owned by Gigginstown, in third.
Cooper said: "It was a hard decision [to pick between him and Mozoltov] but in the end I went for experience.
"Trifolium ran too free in Navan [when beaten by Felix Yonger] and he never had a chance to settle. The last day in Leopardstown the front two went off so far in front it was hard to peg them back. We didn't want to let Defy Logic to get as far ahead today."
He added: "He has beaten them all off here and there's only Champagne Fever left here I guess. He is entitled to go for the Arkle at Cheltenham now."