SPORT — 11 February 2014

By Simon Clifford.

What a weekend of racing we just had at Leopardstown, as Last Instalment came back to his best in winning the Hennessy Gold Cup. Trainer Philip Fenton and jockey Brian O’Connell the teamed up to record their biggest career win to date in winning the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Last Instalment, who was a dual Grade 1 novice chase winner in the 2011-12 season, but his career has been plagued by injury, pulled his way to the front after jumping the second fence and was kept on an even keel after that by O’Connell. This was a great training achievement by Fenton and will have advertised his talent in nurturing horses back to their best.

The horse jumped fantastic throughout the race, and this was his key to keeping the others at bay. O’Connell now has a 100 per cent record aboard the horse.

In this column we noted his return at Thurles last month, but I never thought he would put this classy field to bed on just his second run back. It was a great training performance to get him back to this sort of level and confirmed all his top novice form and I’m sure all guns now point to Cheltenham’s Blue Riband, the Gold Cup.

For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World

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