The feature race on day three was the Grade 1 Lexus Chase and though it was won by British raider Synchronised (IRE) there was a distinctly Irish flavour to the victory. Synchronised is trained by Jonjo O’Neill for JP McManus whose wife Noreen also bred the winner who got a fine ride from AP McCoy. The son of Sadlers Wells is out of Mayasta, who was actually trained by McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry to win nine races. It was a career best performance from the winner who won the Welsh National last year and could prove a lively outsider for the Cheltenham Gold Cup in three months time.
Last Instalment (IRE) also looks a long term Gold Cup candidate based on his performance in the Grade 1 Topaz Fort Leney Chase. He lead home a Gigginstown House Stud owned 1-2 when powering home six lengths clear of Cheltenham Festival winner First Lieutenant (IRE). The winner is trained by Philip Fenton and was ridden by Brian O’Connell, the same partnership that achieved multiple Grade 1 glory with the currently sidelined Dunguib (IRE). Fenton is fortunate to have such a talented horse to fill the void left by Dunguib and since the race has reported; “He came out of Leopardstown really well. He’s going to have an easy couple of weeks, doing very little, before we set off and do another canter with him. I haven’t spoken to Michael O’Leary since the race, so I would say it will be about 10 days before we know what the plan is. I think he’s very exciting and could be the real job.” Last Instalment, by Anshan, was bred by John O’Mahony who sold him at Goffs Land Rover Sale to Kevin Power for €10,500. He began his career winning a point to point in Lemonfield and has always shown huge potential. He is a very exciting prospect and hopefully he will stay injury free and fulfil the promise he has shown thus far.