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Aidan Coleman and Richard Condon celebrate their respective wins.
Aidan Coleman and Richard Condon celebrate their respective wins.
Image: PA

Good day for Irish jockeys as Put The Kettle On wins Champion Chase thriller

Trainer Henry De Bromhead celebrated in the main race while young Cork jockey Richard Condon landed the Coral Cup.
Mar 17th 2021, 3:39 PM 3,476 0

Updated Mar 17th 2021, 4:34 PM

LAST YEAR’S ARKLE heroine Put The Kettle On beat the boys again in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

A surprise winner at the Festival 12 months ago, Henry de Bromhead’s mare won out again with Aidan Coleman on board.

And another Cork native celebrated in the previous race as young jockey Richard Condon landed the Coral Cup with 33-1 outsider Heaven Help Us for trainer Paul Hennessy, better known for his success with greyhounds.

In the feature race of the day, Put The Kettle On entered it after stretching her unbeaten record at the track to three on her first start of the current campaign in November.

But despite her excellent record in the Cotswolds, she looked to have her work cut out on her return, having proved no match for Chacun Pour Soi at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Put The Kettle On was in front for much of the contest, but looked booked for minor honours after 8-13 favourite Chacun Pour Soi hit the front approaching the final fence.

However, Aidan Coleman’s mount fought back on the run-in – devouring the hill once again to get up and score by half a length, becoming the first mare to win the two-mile showpiece.

Dan Skelton’s Nube Negra finished strongly to claim the runner-up spot from the Willie Mullins-trained Chacun Pour Soi.

aidan-coleman-celebrates-winning Aidan Coleman celebrates winning. Source: Dan Abraham/INPHO

Heaven Help Us turned what is usually a competitive handicap into a procession when making nearly every yard of the running in the Coral Cup.

The 33-1 shot was left clear at the last when Blue Sari fell, but the winner had flown in any case.

Witness Protection attempted to keep pace with Heaven Help Us throughout, but by the home turn those exertions had taken a toll.

While the field tried to reel in the long-time leader, Heaven Help Us kept finding for 7lb claimer Richard Condon, pulling nine lengths clear at the line.

Nicky Henderson’s Craigneiche came out of the pack for second, with Tea Clipper and Sayo filling the places.

Condon was also on board when the mare won at the Dublin Racing Festival last time out, but she was defying an 12lb higher mark this time.

Hennessy said: “It’s unbelievable, quite incredible to be honest.

richard-condon-and-heaven-help-us-with-trainer-paul-hennessy-celebrate-after-winning Richard Condon and Heaven Help Us with trainer Paul Hennessy celebrate after winning. Source: Dan Abraham/INPHO

“We had a plan, something similar to Leopardstown. There were probably 26 Plan As in the race, but at least we got to use our Plan A.

“Richie was absolutely incredible on her – I don’t think anyone could have ridden her any better than that.

“Training greyhounds is our career. We have about 40 and we were lucky enough to win a couple of English Derbys.

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“I only train three horses. It’s off the planet to win here – I can’t believe it.

“We needed a miracle. Heaven Help Us is her name and heaven has helped us today.”

After five successive Irish victories on St Patrick’s Day, Sky Pirate just held the late thrust of Entoucas to land a blow for Britain at last in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase.

Nick Scholfield was back on board, after missing Sky Pirate’s two mid-winter victories because of injury, and the partnership showed great tenacity to win by a short-head at 14-1.

Entoucas still appeared to be full of running at the last but just could not quite reel in Jonjo O’Neill’s winner in time.

Ibleo stayed on to be almost four lengths further back in third.

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