Darragh O’Keeffe was having his first ride at the highest level when partnering Henry de Bromhead’s A Plus Tard in the Grade One Savills Chase (15/2) and the 20-year-old Cork rider flew home in the straight to score in a blockbuster finish.
It looked like the Willie Mullins-trained pair of Kemboy (8/1) and Melon (25/1) had it between them jumping the last, but O’Keeffe showed his brilliance to get a tune out of A Plus Tard and score by a length as the six-year-old landed successive Grade Ones at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
It was also a memorable day for Jonathan Moore as the 26-year-old also landed his maiden Grade One when controlling affairs from the front in the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle aboard the 11/1 chance Flooring Porter.
Gavin Cromwell’s five-year-old made a mockery of his step up from handicap company with Wexford jockey Moore dictating the pace to dominate a high-profile field and prevail by six lengths from Gordon Elliott’s The Storyteller (7/1).
Mullins may not have landed either of the Grade Ones up for grabs, but the champion trainer still bagged a fantastic 355/1 four-timer with Paul Townend accounting for three of those successes.
The pair continued where they left off yesterday as Gaillard Du Mesnil (11/8 favourite) landed the opening Tote.ie Maiden Hurdle before Dandy Mag (16/1) provided a huge shock in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Qualifier when coming with a wet sail in the final 100 yards.
The Big Getaway (4/5 favourite) made it second-time lucky over fences later in the day when turning the Ballymaloe Foods Beginners Chase into a procession before the trainer’s son Patrick made it a Closutton quartet when Ramillies (15/8 favourite) took the concluding Midland Legal Solicitors INH Flat Race with ease.
Day 4 Race Card
Tuesday is the fourth and final day of racing at Leopardstown and here’s what’s on the card for the day.
The Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Steeplechase
The Pigsback.com Maiden Hurdle
The Advent Insurance Irish EBF Mares Hurdle (Grade 3)