'It's been a bit of a frustrating week' - Longhouse Poet warms up for Aintree with decisive win

Longhouse Poet and J.J. Slevin are led in after winning the feature chase at Down Royal
Longhouse Poet and J.J. Slevin are led in after winning the feature chase at Down Royal

Martin Brassil, JJ Slevin and the Mulryans had been haunted by the narrow defeats of Fastorslow and An Epic Song in two of the big handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival, but their week ended brightly when Longhouse Poet got back on the winning trail.

Last season's Thyestes Chase winner landed the feature 3m2f conditions chase to earn a visit to Aintree for the Grand National, for which his odds were cut to a best-priced 20-1 with Paddy Power. 

The nine-year-old, who ran well for such a long way at Aintree last season, travelled and jumped well for Slevin, and was always doing just enough on the run-in to beat last year's winner Roi Mage by a length and a quarter. 

Brassil said: "It's been a bit of a frustrating week, but it would have been more frustrating if we were watching them trailing in and running no race. They ran great races, got great rides, and there were no hard-luck stories."

"It was good to see that fellow do that. He and JJ had a bit of a mishap at Fairyhouse in the Bobbyjo, so we wanted to get them to gel a bit more, especially as they are going to be going around Aintree.

"He jumped well and handled the ground; it was lovely to see. He probably over-raced at Aintree last year, which is why I wanted to get a race a bit closer to the National into him so that he won't get as buzzed up."

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Justin O'HanlonReporter
Published on 17 March 2023Last updated 18:39, 17 March 2023