Foxy Jacks (9-1) put up a courageous performance to make it third time lucky over Cheltenham’s Cross Country course when successful in today’s Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase.
The nine year old Fame And Glory gelding, who had fallen and unseated on his two previous attempts over the unique course, went to the front after the sixth of the 31 fences under jockey Gavin Brouder. After seeing off all other challengers in the extended three miles and five furlongs contest, it was Latenightpass (9-2) who launched a determined challenge after the last but Foxy Jacks kept finding for Brouder and at the finish came home a length and a quarter clear to hand the jockey his first Cheltenham success.
It was a second significant win for Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National-winning trainer Mouse Morris in the UK this season following the victory of Gentlemansgame in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby earlier this month.
County Tipperary-based Morris said: “He was very tenacious. He is not simple, but he got a great ride and jumped super.
“I thought he was in great shape, but there were 30 odd fences to jump and he is not noted for excellent jumping. I thought he got an excellent ride from Gavin. It changes his mind a bit over these fences. I don’t think he put a foot wrong today and I couldn’t be happier.
“There are a lot of times he hasn’t delivered and that is what makes these days good. I don’t think the weight makes any difference to this fellow, it is just getting him on his day. He belongs to great people (Rachel Carthy) and they love the craic. It is a while ago since I had a winner here.
“That has been his problem (not completing races), but he has been running well this season. He has been running well and he won the Midlands National (at Kilbeggan in July) and was third in the Kerry National so something has happened to him.”
Gavin Brouder said: “I’ve ridden him in nearly all his runs this season. He has been placed in all of them and pulled up in one when things didn’t go right. He has been an unbelievable servant all season and to win this is unreal.
“I’ve been getting a good feel off him just going along in front and letting him do his own thing with the jumping, and he will either go left or right. I think my fellow was in front for so long that he just kind of idled. He did that at Kilbeggan. He idled all the way up the run in up to the line.
“I’ve been getting on very well with him jumping and I thought if he does the same that we always do then we will be fine.”
"It is unreal (winning at Cheltenham). Going up past the line in front there is not a feeling like it. I’m going to fly home and go to work then head to Navan for the boss and hopefully have another good spin up there.”
Back in sixth was Delta Work (4-1), winner of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at The Festival.
His trainer Gordon Elliott, who was also responsible for eighth-placed Galvin (100-30 Favourite), said: “Keith (Donoghue, on Delta Work) said for the second half of the race he never jumped and he was a bit sore pulling him up, so we will see how he is. Cheltenham in March is the plan.
“You could see in the second half of the race he never jumped like he can so hopefully he is okay in the morning. In fairness we were happy with the run and if we got beat today we wouldn’t have been disappointed. The way he jumped the second half of the race he was never right.
“Galvin ran very well, he just hated the ground, but I’m very happy. They will probably both have one more run over hurdles and that will be it until March.”