Roie Du Mee (far side) and Prince De Beauchene
©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
All seven of the declared runners for the intriguing Grade 2 At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse today all have Aintree Grand National entries and the race itself was a cracking renewal with victory going to the Gordon Elliott trained Roi Du Mee, under Davy Russell.
Russell's presence in the morning papers as declared rider on his employer's (Gigginstown House Stud) apparent second-string Roi Du Mee could have set tongues wagging but the Champion Jockey's other, apparent, choice in the race Quito De La Roque (which comprehensively beat Roi Du Mee at Thurles last month), with Robbie Power booked to ride, was withdrawn lame at around 10am.
The race itself was informative nonetheless, with Roi Du Mee proving two lengths too strong for 8/11 favourite Prince De Beauchene (the eighth beaten odds-on favourite in Ireland this week), with last year's Aintree National third Seabass running well to take third.
Winning trainer Elliott wasn't present for the win, returning from his trip from cancelled Newcastle, but later reported by phone “Roi Du Mee has been a terrific horse for us this season and has been very consistent.
“We put a tongue strap on him today and it seemed to bring about a bit more improvment. I'm not sure what we'll do but he's in the Ryanair Chase and in the National. We hadn't really looked beyond today and we'll see how he comes out of this.”
Seabass' trainer Ted Walsh expressed his satisfaction with the gelding's run, saying “that was a good run – he ran up to his mark. Katie (Walsh, jockey) said he said he gave a good blow between the last two.”
Willie Mullins himself reported “he jumped well bar the one mistake - he just ran too fresh and ran with the choke out. I'm not disappointed though.”
Prince De Beachene's trainer
Paddy Power later Roi Du Mee to 20/1 (from 50s) for the Aintree Grand National while cutting Seabass to 12/1 (from 14s) for the same race but pushed Prince De Beauchene to 12/1 (from 10s)
Quotes from Gary Carson