Cooper and Don Poli did just enough to hold off First Lieutenant, near side, and Foxrock, far side. Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Don day afternoon as Willie Mullins finally wins the Lexus Chase

It was a very good day at Leopardstown for Michael O’Leary and Gigginstown House Stud.

DON POLI DID just enough to win the Lexus Chase and end Willie Mullins’ long wait for victory in the race.

The 4/6 favourite edged a tight finish to see off Gigginstown stablemate First Lieutenant by half a length, with Foxrock a further half-length back in third.

Punters faced a nervous wait while the stewards looked into possible interference in the home straight but the result was upheld to give jockey Brian Cooper his first win of the week.

“He never shows off, he just does what he has to do,” Mullins told RTÉ after breaking his duck in Leopardstown’s day three feature.

“He’s a very lazy horse.

“When the others came back at him, he just pulled away again.”

Paddy Power responded by making Don Poli a 6/1 shot for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March, out from 4/1.

Monday’s other Grade One contest also went the way of Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown team as outsider Prince of Scars got up to win the Christmas Hurdle at odds of 10/1 in the hands of Davy Russell.

Leopardstown — Monday’s results

12.10 — 1. Chain Gang (6/1) 2. Minella Aris (12/1) 3. Road to Respect (4/6f)

12.45 — 1. Forever Gold (16/1) 2. Russian Bill (7/1 2f) 3. Woodford Island (14/1)

1.20 — 1. Zabana (4/1 j2f) 2. Blair Perrone (12/1) 3. Tell Us More (6/4f)

1.55 — 1. Prince of Scars (10/1) 2. Alpha des Obeaux (2/1 2f) 3. Martello Tower (7/2)

2.30 – 1. Whatsforuwontgobyu (9/2 2f) 2. Mighty Concorde (7/1) 3. Theturnofthesun (11/1)

3.05 – 1. Don Poli (4/6 fav) 2. First Lieutenant (16/1) 3. Foxrock (10/1)

3.35 – 1. Gurteen (9/4 2f) 2. Some Neck (7/4f) 3. Broken Soul (11/4)

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