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Leopardstown Power-play for Minella Foru and Barry Geraghty

Published 27/12/2015

Minella Foru returns following his big Leopardstown payday
Minella Foru returns following his big Leopardstown payday

Barry Geraghty steered Minella Foru to a lucrative victory in the ultra-competitive Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown.

Carrying the colours of JP McManus, Eddie Harty's six-year-old was a 7-1 shot for the three-mile contest, with the leading owner also responsible for heavily-backed favourite Gilgamboa, among others.

Those who joined in the gamble on 4-1 market leader Gilgamboa will have been happy enough rounding the home turn, with crack conditional Jack Kennedy sitting confidently in the lead. However, he was claimed by both Ucello Conti and Minella Foru after the final fence and it was the latter who found most for pressure to score by a length and a half.

Folsom Blue got rolling late to deny Gilgamboa third place.

Prolific mare Ballychorus was still in with every chance when falling at the final fence, bringing down the fancied Sumos Novios, who looked beaten at the time.

Minella Foru's victory completed a double on the day for Harty following Copy That's success under Kennedy in the previous race.

It was a third winner of the afternoon for McManus at the track.

Harty said: "The ground was a bit slower than he wants, but his class came through in the finish, although I wouldn't like him to be going another furlong.

"We have been planning this for a while. He was unlucky to be touched off at Fairyhouse the last day, but it's probably worked out in our favour.

"He's never gone three miles before but he travelled well and Barry gave him a peach of a ride. He said that he would leave it late, but I didn't think he would leave it that late!

"I would not be averse to letting him take his chance in novice chases given that he has that experience.

"It's a lovely race to win and my biggest win in prize-money terms over fences. It's been a great couple of days with three winners from three runners."

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