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Captain earns Naas salutes

Captain Cee Bee was the biggest name on the Naas card and he delivered in fine style as he put in a virtually faultless round of jumping to win the Poplar Square Chase.

Sent off the 9-10 favourite for the Grade Three event, this was a fair performance as he was giving upwards of 4lb and more to three decent types, including Psycho and Catch Me.

With Tony McCoy in action at Ascot, Mark Walsh was in the plate and stalked Archie Boy until the second-last, with his only slight scare coming at the final fence when he was not as fluent as he could have been.

A delighted Walsh said of Eddie Harty's charge: "We went slow enough early on and he jumped brilliantly. We winged three out and two out and I was always happy I was going to win, it was hands and heels really.

"I still don't think you have seen the best of this horse yet. I've never ridden a Champion Chase horse but he feels like one to me."

Harty added: "That's a relief. We expected him to win, but he was only just ready to start. This is the first time really since his novice hurdle days we have been able to go where we want first time.

"He jumped well, won well and I couldn't be happier. Mark has ridden an excellent race, he came there when we planned and when the pace quickened he jumped really well, I thought.

"There's a few races for him. The Tingle Creek is an obvious one, there's a race at Leopardstown at Christmas, but we'll play it by ear and let the dust settle.

"I think he'll run in early December, then at Christmas and then have a break before Cheltenham. That's the plan, but what races I don't know.

"He is top class so we'll be going for top-class races with him - the Queen Mother Champion Chase looks the long-term target and we're looking forward to it already."


From Belfast Telegraph