Belfast Telegraph

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Oscar takes Foxrock gong at Navan

Oscar Knight scooped the big pot on offer in the Foxrock Handicap Chase at Navan with a resolute performance.

The Tom Mullins-trained 7-1 shot had to compete from slightly out of the handicap but went head to head with the strong-travelling Ball D'Arc approaching two out.

He had more in the tank than that rival and stretched six and a half lengths clear in the hands of Mark Enright.

Mullins said: "He won well in Galway and had every chance in Punchestown when he nearly fell after jumping the fence well. Mark Walsh said he slipped on the next stride after the fence.

"I thought he would have run on after the last fence in Punchestown after making that mistake and when he didn't, I was saying is he gone out of form?

"He was working well at home so we said we'd take a chance. There was no point going for a 50,000 race with a penalty so we said we'd come here instead of Punchestown tomorrow.

"I don't know if that will get him into the Paddy Power, or even if JP (McManus) or Frank (Berry) want to go for it, but he's in the race anyway so it's there and I'll leave it to the owner. If they want me to run, I'll run. I'm very happy with today.

"He jumped well enough bar a few down the far side. He has his own way of doing it and we do work on his back from time to time."

Our Duke was a good novice hurdler and could take even higher rank over fences judging by his successful start to his career in that sphere in the Mervyn Gray Construction Beginners Chase.

The 4-1 chance tracked front-running favourite Prince Of Scars until he went for home with Gwencily Berbas and Edwulf for company.

Robbie Power allowed him to pop over the last and he stayed on well to account for Gwencily Berbas by 11 lengths, with Edwulf getting rid of Mark Walsh when beaten at the final obstacle.

"It was lovely performance - he was great. He looked good last year winning the bumper and hurdle. I don't know what happened to him in Thurles but he came back and finished third in Fairyhouse," said Harrington.

"It's great to get his chasing career under way. I thought that was a very, very hot race. He made a mistake at the third-last, probably his only mistake, and Robert was amazed how quick he came back on the bridle.

"We'll take it from there. Christmas comes a bit quick and we might wait for Naas. He does go on soft ground.

"The lovely thing is that he has lived up to what we thought he was last year and he is a very big horse. He was fit enough to do himself justice. Funnily enough for a big horse, once you get him fit he's there."


From Belfast Telegraph