Great Field and Jody McGarvey peck after the last
PICTURE:Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)
By James Burn 4:26PM 5 MAR 2017
GREAT FIELD justified favouritism in a Leopardstown novice chase when scoring by eight lengths on Sunday, but it was not as straightforward as the bare result suggests with jockey Jody McGarvey producing a minor miracle to stay on board after the last.
Trained by Willie Mullins, Great Field made all and looked the winner for a some time, provided he safely negotiated the remaining fences.
That, as the race drew to a close, was easier said than done for the 15-8 winner, who made a mistake two out before pecking on landing after the last.
McGarvey, 26, went one way and then the other over the side of the horse as his supporters prayed he could remain on board.
Thankfully, McGarvey managed to regain his equilibrium and steered the six-year-old home.
“He jumped super and in the early part of race he was real quick,” said the rider, now three from three for Mullins.
“He knuckled and I was rolling around and up his back, but luckily I kept the partnership intact and got his head in front.
“He got a bit low at the second-last he doesn’t do anything stupid, but just lacks a bit of scope. I went up the straight with only one iron but thankfully it didn’t cost us.”
It is not the first time McGarvey, who was sporting the famous green and gold silks of leading owner JP McManus, has made headlines for staying on a horse.
At Roscommon in 2015 he was nearly unseated from Old Supporter only to be helped back into the plate by fellow jockey Danny Mullins.
The race also featured Identity Thief, who was as low as 14-1 for the Racing Post Arkle, but he failed to fire and was well beaten in fourth.