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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 12 December, 2018

Outlander scores shock 16/1 win in the first big test of the Gold Cup hopefuls

Jessica Harrington’s Our Duke disappointed in the Champion Chase in Down Royal.

Down Royal Festival - Day Two Outlander, near side, held off Road to Respect. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

GORDON ELLIOT’S OUTLANDER was a shock winner of the first Grade 1 of the new Irish national hunt season, holding off Road to Respect in the Champion Chase at Down Royal.

The Gigginstown duo jumped the final fence neck and neck but it was 16/1 shot Outlander, steered by Jack Kennedy, who got his nose in front to win by half a length.

Zabana was 14 lengths back in third while Jessica Harrington’s Our Duke, the odds-on favourite, disappointingly tailed off at the back of the field and was later found to have scoped badly.

“He was beaten going to the first fence,” Harrington admitted afterwards.

In the Grade 2 Chase, 5/4 favourite Disko did just enough to justify his price, holding off Enda Bolger’s Ballyoisin by half a length to take the prize for Noel Meade and Gigginstown.

At Wetherby, Coneygree pulled up and veteran chaser Cue Card crashed out five fences from home as Bristol de Mai (6/1) won the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Daryl Jacob.

Both Cue Card and jockey Paddy Brennan were OK following the fall, trainer Colin Tizzard reported afterwards.

Fergal O’Brien’s mare Colin’s Sister (10/1) won the three-mile West Yorkshire Hurdle, staying on to beat 2/1 joint favourite Wholestone by two lengths, with Lil Rockefeller 12 lengths back in third.

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Niall Kelly

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