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Fakir D’oudairies wins Marsh Chase emphatically for JP McManus and Joseph O'Brien

Ryanair Chase runner-up lands deserved Grade One prize.

Mark Walsh riding Fakir D’oudairies to victory.
Mark Walsh riding Fakir D’oudairies to victory.
Image: Tim Goode/PA

FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES FINALLY landed the big pot his consistent efforts have deserved in recent seasons when bolting up in the Marsh Chase at Aintree.

Second in six Grade Ones throughout his career, including last time out in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, he was declared to run at Fairyhouse on Monday but pulled out on account of the quick ground.

Connections had been hoping for a softer surface on Merseyside – but the way he travelled and jumped on this occasion suggests there will be no worries in the future.

Master Tommytucker attempted to make all but, as is his wont, made several errors, including a spectacular one on the first circuit which saw Sam Twiston-Davies perform miracles to keep the partnership intact.

Heading to the third-last Politologue moved alongside his stablemate Master Tommytucker, with Nuts Well aiming to squeeze between the pair as Mark Walsh moved on the outside of all of them.

It got very tight with Nuts Well coming off worst, forcing Danny McMenamin to take a pull and by then his chance had gone.

Sent off the 2-1 favourite, Fakir D’oudairies shot clear to give Joseph O’Brien a notable win, with Nuts Well holding off Itchy Feet for second, 11 lengths away.

O’Brien said: “We’re delighted with his win. Mark gave him a great ride, he jumped great and got into a great rhythm today.

“He’s been a very consistent performer for us and deserves another Grade One.

“He’s been running against the best of the best and always runs his race. We’re very proud of his win today.

“He was to run at Fairyhouse on Monday. He was at the track and we weren’t happy with the ground. It’s a touch of luck we sent him to Aintree instead.

“We’ll have a look at Punchestown. We’ll see how he comes home first – it’s a decision for next week.

“We’ll get today out of the way and go from there.”

Walsh said: “He deserved his day in the sun. He’s been running great all season, so I’m delighted he got his head in front.

“He had a hard race at Cheltenham in the Ryanair, but Joseph had him in great shape and he’s done it well today.”

Later on Friday, Livelovelaugh turned the Randox Topham Handicap Chase into a procession for Patrick and Willie Mullins.

Having set off at what seemed a particularly brisk pace in the early stages, Livelovelaugh had burned everything else off crossing the Melling Road.

Mullins had got his mount into a fantastic rhythm, but when the pursuers began to close up as the field raced back on to the racecourse proper, it was a question of how much was going to be left in the tank.

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The 11-year-old briefly looked in trouble – but Mullins had saved plenty on the 15-2 shot and put the race to bed approaching the Elbow.

In the Betway Mildmay Novices’ Chase, Chantry House took full advantage of the exit of Espoir De Romay to land the Grade 1 prize.

The Marsh Novices’ Chase winner from Cheltenham was two lengths down approaching the second-last when Kim Bailey’s long-time leader crumpled on landing.

That left the 11-8 favourite a long way clear of Shan Blue and he went on to provide Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville with a welcome winner having drawn a blank at the meeting up to then.

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