Downpatrick-born, London-based property investor David Maxwell experienced the thrill of a lifetime when winning the Irish Daily Star Champion Hunters Chase at Punchestown on his own Bob And Co.
A second winner of the 2021 Festival for trainer Paul Nicholls, Bob And Co got the better of a rousing battle with favourite Billaway, the minimum margin of a nose splitting them at the line.
The successful Dom Alco gelding got over a couple of mistakes, and to his credit put in his all on the run-in, without Maxwell using his whip.
Harry Derham, assistant trainer and nephew of Nicholls, said: “That was very exciting. I thought we had his measure three out but Willie’s horses are obviously running incredibly well this week and he was going to be tough to get by.
“David invests and he buys lovely horses. He bought Bob And Co a couple of years back hoping that he might win one of these championship hunter chases and I’m absolutely thrilled for him that he has.
“It’s been a tough year for amateurs in England not being able to ride for a large majority of the season, and for David to have a day like this is really special.
“Clan Des Obeaux (Wednesday's Gold Cup winner) is back home safe this evening and he’s absolutely fine. Obviously it was a very special day and he’s back home ready for his summer holidays.”
The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board Veterinary Officer examined Caid Du Berlais (FR), trained by S. Loxton (in GB), at the request of the Stewards and reported the animal to be post race normal. Samples were taken for analysis.