Lucky William Takes Top Honours
Lucky William Takes Top Honours
Sporting Life

Barry Geraghty gave Lucky William (4-1) a fine ride to land the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown.

Never too far off the pace set by Kumbeshwar, Geraghty brought his mount through to challenge for the lead with two fences to jump.

As rivals Menorah and Kumbeshwar faded, he was left with a late battle as Blackstairmountain (8-1) ran on well for Ruby Walsh, however Thomas Cooper’s charge was too strong at the line.

Cooper said: “Brilliant, absolutely super. Out of all the runners I thought he was the one who would handle the ground the best and he proved it on the day.

“His win the last day gave him confidence. It was a mighty performance under top-weight on soft ground.

“He’s probably a better horse on better ground but he’s versatile.”

Cooper added: “It’s very tricky now lads! He’s not a Sprinter Sacre and we’ll try and avoid him. There should be plenty of other races for him.”

Richard Johnson said of Menorah, who passed the post fourth: “The ground was against us and it was a bit too soft.

“Saying that he was a bit awkward at the first few fences and they are big fences here but he jumped well towards the end.

“He’s run a decent race and it’s the end of a long season so he’s one to look forward to next year.”

Favourite First Lieutenant (9-4) lost his position around four fences from home before staying on for a never-nearer third.

Philip Hobbs’ Menorah took up the lead three fences from home and looked to be travelling strongly, however he tired badly late on and was well held at the line.

Alan King’s Kumbeshwar, after a bad error at the fourth fence, eventually took a crashing fall at the final obstacle.

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