Argocast (nearest) and Far Away So Close jump the second last
©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
The Tom Taaffe trained Argocat booked his Cheltenham Festival ticket with a win in the featured Grade 2 Greenmount Park Novice Steeplechase at Limerick today.
Mikael D'Haguenet, himself a previous Cheltenham winner, was sent to post the 8/11f but crashed out at the fifth last fence. Both he and his rider Emmet Mullins were subsequently fine.
Argocat, under Andrew McNamara, was patiently ridden in the race before jumping to the front, past Far Away So Close, at the second last. He quickly went clear and while untidy at the final fence, coasted home the easy eight lengths winner over Snooze, with Far Away So Close third.
Afterwards Taaffe stated “I'm delighted for his owners Fitri and Doc Hay whose first Grade 2 jumps winner this is. The horse has come a long way from winning his two year old mile maiden at Newmarket to running on this type of ground over fences! He's a resolute and hardy type though.
“He jumped particularly well today, apart from the obvious mistake at the last, but it was good to see him get his legs out so quickly to stand up from the mistake.
“I don't see any benefit to running him between now and Cheltenham in March, especially on more heavy ground, and he'll probably go straight for the Jewsons Novice Chase. The reason I started him off so early over fences this year was to get some better ground for him and he'll get a little break now.”