Ball D’Arc: winner of the four-runner Gigginstown House Stud race
PICTURE:Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 4:03PM 12 MAR 2017
THE saying goes there is no such thing as a certainty in racing, but try telling that to Michael and Eddie O’Leary as they watched a €32,500 race at Naas on Sunday that only contained horses they own.
The brothers’ Gigginstown House Stud already dominated the declarations for the Grade 3 Naas Directors Plate Novice Chase with four of the five runners set to carry their maroon and white silks. However, all uncertainty was removed when Oscar Knight, the only non-Gigginstown contender, was withdrawn from the race on Sunday morning.
As such, punters were left paying closer attention to hat colour than at any time outside Royal Ascot with maroon and white star (Ball D’Arc) defeating blue (Gangster), with yellow (Prince Of Scars) third from white (Alamein) in fourth, and last.
The dominance of the O’Leary’s, particularly in chases, has often led to them fielding multiple runners in a race. Their big chase victories in the last 12 months include the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Grand National, Irish Grand National, Lexus Chase, Kerry National and JNwine.com Champion Chase.
There will be a number of their runners in action at the Cheltenham Festival next week as well, although their colours will be a touch more difficult to pick out among the big fields than they were at Naas.