Val De Ferbet on his way to victory in Cork
©Healy Racing Photos
By Michael Graham
Val De Ferbet put in a sparkling display of jumping as he made all to land the Grade Three Dr Vincent O'Brien Centenary Chase at Cork.
The eight-year-old gelding had plenty in the tank as he bounded away under Adrian Heskin after the second last.
He hit the line a healthy 12 lengths up on A Toi Phil (1/1f) who tracked him throughout but who was outgunned at the business end.
Winter Magic (25/1) got a place dividend in third. He was over 14 lengths behind the winner.
Trainer Andrew McNamara said: "He has been a bit hit and miss to jump but he was absolutely perfect around there. We had been campaigning him mostly over hurdles because we were worried about the jumping but the way he has jumped there will give us a lot of options for next year.
"We never got his head in front last year, he was second I think about four or five times. He ran a couple of lovely races but just seems a bit better this year. He's a very good, genuine horse. He could probably run in a couple of good chases next year and there might even be a day or two on the Flat for him as well."
Adrian Heskin added: "I'm delighted to ride a winner for Andy - he was very good to me when I was starting off riding when we were both in Michael Hourigan's.
'I'm delighted he gave me a chance to ride this horse and he won nicely. He was super and after we jumped the first I knew he was going to run a big race. He was really relaxed, and jumped super.
"To be fair Robbie Power gave me a fair tutoring about him and all I had to do was sit up.
"That's my first ride for Andy and it's great to ride a winner for him."
Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes