Son Of Flemensfirth Triumphs In Thyestes Thriller
The Cheltenham Gold Cup and Aintree Grand National are now in the sights of Invitation Only (8g Flemensfirth - Norabelle, by Alamo Bay), after winning the 2019 renewal of the Goffs Thyestes Chase.
Racing over three miles and one furlong, his greatest stamina test since winning his point-to-point four years ago, Willie Mullins’ charge was sent off favourite under Ruby Walsh. Chasing the leaders for much of the way, Walsh rode his mount into second approaching the third last, switching towards the stands’ side to deliver a challenge to Alpha Des Obeaux. Racing neck-and-neck towards the final fence, Invitation Only edged in front on the run-in, staying on well to score by a length and a quarter, with a further 11 lengths back to the third horse.
Mullins, who was winning his seventh Thyestes, afterwards commented, “I'm delighted with that. To win a race like this off a big weight means he's a fairly decent horse. The Gold Cup and the Grand National will be options for him.” Walsh also heaped praise on the winner, saying, “Invitation Only travelled really well. He has plenty of pace and he stays. I was in control throughout and that's a rare luxury in a Thyestes. He battled well when I needed him.”
Bred by Seamus McKeogh, Invitation Only comes from the family of Grade 1 chaser Oh Calin.