At Tipperary, Cashel Beginners set up an unexpected jumping round to win the chase – with his favorite captain Guinness pulling in half.
Guinness, the captain of Henry de Bromhead, was expected to rank high in the Novice Chasers this season, given how unlucky he was at the Supreme Novices Hurdles competition in March.
Rachel Blackmore set out to make everyone a favorite. But after a bad jump, they took Willie Mullins’ unexpected lead – Blackmore soon realized everything was not right and pulled him up.
Not taking anything away from the 7-2 winner, Mark Walsh was on foot for the eight-run victory from Entocas.
After an obstacle in his Irish debut from Smart Jason The Militant last season, he was later defeated in Limerick and started a major disability in February – but he is clear on what affected him that day.
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“He jumped brilliantly, he was Rachel (Blackmore) out-jumping, and I was driving him back through the first four fences,” Walsh said.
“Then I said, ‘This kid has wings’ – so I let him go and he liked it. He was very fast on his fence, lengthening them, so you have to rejoice in it.
“He’s a half-brother to the Grade Field (Grade One-winning chaser), so I hope he goes the same way and wins some good matches.”
Captain Guinness told Blackmore officials he had “escaped from behind”.