Treacle sweet for Taaffe
Treacle and Ninetieth Minute look set to represent Tom Taaffe in the John Smith's Grand National after leading home a one-two for the stable in the Daily Mirror Chase at Down Royal.
Allee Garde took the field - which was minus fellow Aintree entrants Chicago Bay and Tarquinus - along for much of the way, surviving a bad blunder at the eighth fence from which Danny Mullins did well to stay in the plate.
As the pack loomed, Allee Garde held just the narrowest of advantages at the third-last, after which Leggy Lad went on seeming full of running, but so too on the outside was Ninetieth Minute.
The latter assumed brief command but was slightly awkward at the second-last and it was Treacle (5-2) who pinged the final fence before running on strongly for a four-length success.
Taaffe was also on the mark at Limerick, and was represented by his wife Elaine who said: "I'm delighted for the owner (Bjorn Nielsen). The horse would have hated that ground as better ground suits him so well.
"The plan is for him and Ninetieth Minute to go to Aintree but we'll talk to the owners. I'm very pleased with Ninetieth Minute. I think he might have won the race had he not made a mistake two out.
"It's satisfactory to get them both through that."