Bargain-buy Phoenix rises to the challenge as Bourgeois bombs out again
Doctor Phoenix, bought for £10,000 by Gordon Elliott and Mouse O'Ryan at Goffs UK Horses-In-Training at Doncaster at the end of last season, more than re-paid that outlay when landing the €59,000 Bar One Racing Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase.
Davy Russell produced the ten-year-old, who was sent off at 13-2, to lead before the final fence and the Nick Bradley Racing Club-owned runner stretched clear to score by nine lengths from the front-running Kilcarry Bridge.
Doctor Phoenix was winning for the second time since joining Elliott, who was himself landing the 2m1f event for the second year in a row having taken it with Ball D'Arc 12 months ago.
Acapella Bourgeois, who was sent off the 9-10 favourite, was well out of contention when pulled up before two out. He was reported to have burst a blood vessel.
Elliott said: "If he never wins another race Doctor Phoenix has more than paid for himself by winning today. He loves that sort of trip and coming from off a fast gallop. He got that today and it's worked out really well.
"Although Davy rode him today, Jack Kennedy, who was on The Game Changer for Gigginstown, deserves a lot of credit for the win. Jack rode Doctor Phoenix here early last month and wasn't hard on him after the horse made a very bad mistake."
Elliott added: "Nick was keen for me to enter Doctor Phoenix for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase but whether or not he'd be up to that sort of company, I don't know. If it's left to me, I'd prefer to find a conditions race or two for him in Ireland instead."
Russell said: "He was a great purchase by Mouse O'Ryan and the team. The ease in the ground and the good gallop helped but I had a job to get by John Ryan's horse [Kilcarry Bridge]."
The gutsy front-runner stuck on for second with fellow 20-1 shot Dysios a length back in third.
Doctor Phoenix won four races, two of them over fences, in Britain when trained by David Dennis. He won at Cork in November on his second start for Elliott.
Result, replay and analysis
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com