Jason The Militant springs a surprise
Hot favourite Andy Dufresne could finish only third as Jason The Militant fought Beacon Edge into a thrilling climax to the Paddy Power Betting Shop Novice Hurdle.
Last month, having bounced back from an defeat at Navan with a narrow victory from the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, the Gordon Elliott-trained Andy Dufresne has been the market chief to double his Grade 2 tally in Mark Walsh’s palms.
While he travelled well for much of this contest, his effort was a little lacklustre – plus he had to make do with honours.
Henry Bromhead’s 25-1 shooter Jason The Militant was in front from the off under Rachael Blackmore, with Denis and Beacon Edge O’Regan consistently his pursuers.
A mistake from Beacon Edge at the final obstacle put the latter on the foot and even though he battled back to almost connect Jason The Militant online, the judge affirmed the fee of De Bromhead had held on by a nose.
De Bromhead stated:”We were dissatisfied together at Leopardstown last time, but I believe he only loves the soft earth.
“Peter (Michael, owner/breeder) came up with those tactics and suggested that we attempt to nick a few lengths at the beginning if nobody wanted to go on. The tactics were executed by rachael .
“He was third to Envoi Allen at a bumper on goodish floor, which appeared to jar him up a little. It took him some time to come back.”
Considering future targets, the coach added:”he pulled out (obviously Cheltenham), but it’s brilliant to find this. Peter still has got the mare, and it is brilliant to find the kind.
“We will search for some thing wherever there is appropriate soft earth.”