Jody McGarvey shines with brilliant recovery on Great Field at Leopardstown
Jody McGarvey made a remarkable recovery on Great Field after almost parting company at the final fence to take the honours in the Irish Stallion Farm EBF Novice Chase at Leopardstown.
After not getting very high at the penultimate obstacle, the Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old jumped the last better but knuckled on landing, causing McGarvey to lose an iron.
Somehow, the jockey was able to keep the partnership intact and, as the 15-8 favourite had a handy lead, Great Field had enough in hand to go on and score by eight lengths from Don't Touch It to give owner JP McManus a one-two.
Former top hurdler Identity Thief put in a much-needed clear round but finished a well-beaten fourth of the five runners.
McGarvey said: "My heart skipped a few beats, all right. He jumped super in the early part of the race. He was real quick, but just doesn't have a lot of scope. At the last he just knuckled at the back of it. I was rolling around on his back, but luckily I kept the partnership intact.
"He was very low over the last three at Gowran the last day and it was the same at the second-last today. He has a fair engine and is well able to pick himself up at the back of one after making a mistake and gallop on.
"I went up the straight with only one iron, but I had enough as he had put the race to bed at that stage. Thankfully it didn't cost us."
Mullins said: "It was a great performance by horse and rider. He's improved a lot from Gowran, and should keep improving. We'll have to find another target for him.
"I don't really want to go to Aintree and I don't think there is anything for him at Fairyhouse, as I don't want to go over two and a half miles in the Ryanair."