Last leads the way in Leney
Published 28/12/2011 | 17:42
Last Instalment recorded his third victory from as many starts over fences with an excellent performance in the Topaz Fort Leney Novice Chase at Leopardstown.
The Gigginstown House Stud-owned 11-4 shot was taking the step up to Grade One level for the first time following victories at Galway and Punchestown.
With Gigginstown-retained jockey Davy Russell having decided to ride 7-4 favourite First Lieutenant, Brian O'Connell partnered Philip Fenton's Last Instalment, whose jumping impressed throughout the three-mile journey. He quickened past Allee Garde in the straight and safely negotiated the final obstacle to secure a six-length win.
First Lieutenant made a bad mistake at the fence before the straight, but stayed on powerfully after the last to grab the runner-up spot.
Fenton said: "He's a lovely horse. I was surprised that Davy opted for the other one. The decision was left late. We had great confidence in this fellow and we weren't surprised today.
"He will have one more run before Cheltenham if he goes there. He doesn't particularly need one, but he could go for the PJ Moriarty Chase here.
"There's also the option of the Powers Gold Cup for him. The ground was maybe a worry today. We would have loved to have seen more rain but he coped with it well."