J P McManus’s colours were carried to a stylish top-grade victory by Defy Logic (6g Flemensfirth-Osiery Girl, by Phardante) in the G1 Racing Post Novice Chase on St Stephen’s Day at Leopardstown.
Paul Nolan’s charge headed a great afternoon for his sire Flemensfirth when coming home three and a half lengths clear of Trifolium under Mark Walsh, with odds-on favourite Champagne Fever back in third.
“The ground was beautiful, but it was a little bit better than we would have wanted it. He has a great cruising gear, and while I would prefer to try and settle him, there is no point if it’s not working,” Nolan told irishracing.com
“Champagne Fever made a bad mistake at a crucial stage, and we just kicked on from there and won the race. Any day he was beaten he didn’t stop going and I was delighted with how he galloped on. All going well he will come back here for the Arkle.
“This is right up there with my best days – we’ve had this horse from the very start and we’ve always loved him and thankfully he’s now fulfilled his potential. Mark gave him a brilliant ride.”
It was a first top-level success for Walsh, who added: “I’ve been a long time waiting for it, but I’ve eventually got it. It makes it more special that it is here at Leopardstown on St. Stephen’s Day, the big meeting of the year and for the right man. Mr McManus has been very good to me and I’d like to thank him for all the opportunities he’s given me.
“Defy Logic stays well. It suits him better to go left-handed and we thought he’d come on an awful lot for the last day in Punchestown. Paul had him spot on and he done a great job with him.”
Defy Logic, who is a 4/1 chance for the G1 Arkle Chase at Cheltenham, was bred by William McCarthy. He was one of three winners on the day at
Leopardstown for Flemensfirth, who was also responsible for Nolan’s valuable handicap chase winner King Vuvuzela (6g Flemensfirth-Coolgavney Girl, by Good Thyne) and Noble Endeavor (4g Flemensfirth-Old Moon, by Old Vic), an impressive bumper scorer for trainer Gordon Elliott.