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Don delivers at Down Royal

Don Cossack gave further notice he could be a real force this year with an all-the-way success in the Powers Irish Whiskey Chase at Down Royal.

The Gordon Elliott-trained gelding has long had a huge reputation, but has not always found things going his way. However, he returned to action this season with victory in a Grade Three at Punchestown and built on that in the hands of Bryan Cooper.

Wonderful Charm did his best to give the winner a race in a bid to give Paul Nicholls a seventh straight win in the two-and-a-half-mile contest, but was never able to really threaten as Don Cossack (6-4) powered clear to the last, staying on very strongly from there.

Elliott said: "He beat Road To Riches last year, so he wouldn't have been out of place in the Grade One ( Champion Chase). To be fair, Gigginstown opted for this race.

"He'll be entered in Leopardstown and the King George. I thought it was a good performance. He jumped well the whole way and I liked the way from the third-last to the line he put distance on them.

"We didn't want to make all, it wasn't ideal, but we didn't want it to be cat and mouse. He's fulfilling his potential."

Elliott completed a double when 2-1 favourite Vasco Du Mee jumped into the lead four out and quickly swept clear to take the Rainbow Communications Handicap Chase by an eased-down 31 lengths under Paul Carberry, who had already won the big race on Road To Riches.

There was a shock for punters in what looked a pretty hot renewal of the Value Cabs 3-Y-O Hurdle when Eamon Delany's 50-1 shot Scooping made all under Conor Maxwell, finding plenty to win by three and three-quarter lengths after looking a sitting duck.

Jessie Harrington's 11-4 chance Rock The World won at the ninth time of asking when taking it up after the third-last under Robbie Power in the Tayto Group Maiden Hurdle and running on strongly to hold favourite Velvet Maker by four and three-quarter lengths.

There were plenty in with a chance going to the second-last in the Billecart-Salmon Handicap Hurdle, but Charles O'Brien's Stocktons Wing (6-1) was travelling powerfully and he proved best, forging a length and three-quarters clear under Mark Walsh.


From Belfast Telegraph