Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Easy for Arvika in Tied Cottage

A fine leap from Arvika Ligeonniere on his way to winning
A fine leap from Arvika Ligeonniere on his way to winning

Arvika Ligeonniere turned the Boylesports Free Wifi Coming To Our Shops Tied Cottage Chase into a procession at Punchestown and is likely to head to Cheltenham for the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

The Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old is now five from five at the County Kildare track, having been beaten into third when favourite at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Special Tiara cut out the running, but Ruby Walsh's mount took much closer order with over half a mile to run and jumped three out with a fractional advantage. That was extended significantly at the second-last and the race was over once the 2-7 chance pinged the final fence to come home unchallenged, 14 lengths clear of Toner D'Oudairies.

Walsh said: "They went a good gallop early and he settled, but Davy (Russell, on Special Tiara) slowed it up at the top of the hill. "He travelled extremely well, he was brave at a few of his fences, but that's just him. It was a really good performance.

"For whatever reason last year he got going a bit right, but this year he has been dead straight. I don't see left (handed) being an issue."

Mullins added: "He was very, very good and very brave at some of his fences. We decided to let him roll along today. He fiddled one, the ditch at the bottom of the hill, but he jumped everything else very well.

"Ruby felt there was plenty in the tank, so I reckon we'll go to Cheltenham again, probably for the Champion Chase, although I've probably entered him in everything. He has won a Grade One going left-handed and if we don't go to Cheltenham, there is nothing else for him before the Festival back here."

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