Boylesports Champion Chase
Grade 1, Punchestown 17:30
€250,000 added,
5yo plus,
2m, Class 1   
Tuesday 25th April 2017

1 Fox Norton 5/2
2 Un De Sceaux 10/11F
3 God's Own 7/1
8 ran Distances: 1¾l, ½l, 6½l
Time: 4m 5.60s (slow by 7.60s)

Another brilliant run from Fox Norton and a great ride from Robbie Power

Fox Norton
© Racehorse Photos
Fox Norton

Following a Grade One treble at Aintree earlier this month, the team of trainer Colin Tizzard, owners Ann and Alan Potts and jockey Robbie Power took the big-race honours on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival.

It was Fox Norton who backed up his Grade One victory in the Melling Chase at Liverpool as he came out on top, taking the scalp of Un De Sceaux in the process.

Tizzard was concerned he might be going to the well once too often as Fox Norton had also run at Cheltenham where he was a strong-finishing second in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Those fears proved unfounded as the 5-2 chance pulled clear on the run-in to beat Willie Mulllins' Ryanair Chase winner by a length and three-quarters.

Last year's winner God's Own was not disgraced in third place, just half a length away, and might have finished closer but for a mistake at the last.

Tizzard said: "It had been on our minds ever since Cheltenham and Aintree 'are we going one step too far?'.

"He's just progressed into a beautiful young horse. Obviously this is his minimum trip, but he was good enough to win this and very nearly win a Champion Chase.

"This just looked lovely (for him). He did have three months off in the middle of the season when he cut into himself at Cheltenham, so it's not like he's been on the go all the time.

"He's the one horse we thought we could bring here and he's shown it all.

"You've got to stay in every race and he's got that about him. Luckily enough when he came on the market, Alan and Ann Potts wanted the horse. It doesn't always turn out like that, but he has.

"Robbie was cool. He didn't get involved in any battles until he had to. The horse made a few mistakes and Robbie said he was going flat out the whole time.

"This is why we get up in the morning and why we go looking at horses, to come and win at places like Punchestown. It's fantastic."

Asked if Fox Norton could step up in trip next season Tizzard said: "I think there's every temptation. That was his minimum and if there had been a two-and-a-half-miler here today he would have been in that.

"He'd get three miles, but of course Sizing John is there. I think he'd get two and a half or three. He could be (a King George horse)." 

Power, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Sizing John in the same colours, said: "It's been an unbelievable season and getting a Grade One at Punchestown as well for Mr and Mrs Potts - it's fantastic.

"He was flat to the boards the whole way. I didn't want to give Un De Sceaux too much rope. Just because of that I was flat out the whole way and he made one or two little mistakes, but once we turned in I knew I would pick him up.

"Two miles is sharp enough for him. He's a very relaxed horse. He'll have no bother going further."

Mullins said of Un De Sceaux: "He probably wants it softer for that trip, and wants an extra half-mile on better ground. We've had a fantastic season with him and will put him away now.

"The faster pace over two miles on better ground didn't suit him. The horse was in good order. He's probably a two-mile horse on winter ground but when it comes to the spring he wants the extra half-mile."

Boylesports Champion Chase
€250,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m, Class 1
8 ran
Going: Good to Yielding

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Fox Norton (FR) 5/2 R M Power
11-12
C L Tizzard 7
2nd Un De Sceaux (FR) 10/11f R Walsh
11-12
W P Mullins 9
3rd ½ God's Own (IRE) 7/1 A P Heskin
11-12
T R George 9
4th Rock The World (IRE) 12/1 D J Mullins
11-12
Mrs J Harrington 9
5th Ballycasey (IRE) 16/1 P Townend
11-12
W P Mullins 10
6th 17 Sir Valentino (FR) 14/1 P J Brennan
11-12
T R George 8
PU The Game Changer (IRE) 40/1 B J Cooper
11-12
G Elliott 8
F Realt Mor (IRE) 100/1 J W Kennedy
11-12
G Elliott 12

Past Results:

Year Horse Age/Wt/Owner Trainer Jockey
2016 God's Own 9/1 8-11-12
Crossed Fingers P’ship
T R George P J Brennan
2015 Felix Yonger 5/1 9-11-12
Andrea & Graham Wylie
Willie Mullins Danny Mullins
2014 Sizing Europe 7/1 12-11-12
Ann & Alan Potts P’ship
Henry de Bromhead Andrew Lynch
2013 Sprinter Sacre
1/9 Fav
7-11-12
Mrs Caroline Mould
Nicky Henderson GB Barry Geraghty
2012 Sizing Europe
8/13 Fav
10-11-12
Ann & Alan Potts P’ship
Henry de Bromhead Andrew Lynch
2011 Big Zeb
9/4
10-11-12
Pat Redmond
Colm Murphy Barry Geraghty
2010 Golden Silver
12/1
8-11-12
Violet O’Leary
Willie Mullins Paul Townend
2009 Master Minded 30/100 Fav 6-11-12
Clive Smith
Paul Nicholls GB Ruby Walsh
2008 Twist Magic
6/4 Fav
6-11-12
Barry Fulton, Tony Hayward, Michael Lynch
Paul Nicholls GB Ruby Walsh
2007 Mansony 13/2 8-11-12
Michael Mulholland
Arthur Moore Davy Russell
2006 Newmill 5/4 Fav 8-11-12
Mary Hayes
John Murphy Andrew McNamara
2005 Rathgar Beau 8/1 9-11-12
One-O-Eight Racing Club
Eamon Sheehy Shay Barry
2004 Moscow Flyer 4/11 Fav 10-11-12
Brian Kearney
Jessica Harrington Barry Geraghty
2003 Flagship Uberalles 8/1 9-12-00
J P McManus
Philip Hobbs GB Richard Johnson
2002 Strong Run 4/1 9-12-00
Michael McGrath
Noel Meade Paul Carberry
*2001 Micko’s Dream 5/1 9-12-00
Sport Racing Club
Willie Mullins Ruby Walsh
2000 Get Real 3/1 9-11-06
Pioneer Heat-Treatment
Nicky Henderson GB Mick Fitzgerald
1999 Celibate 7/1 8-11-09
Stamford Bridge P’ship
Charlie Mann GB Richard Dunwoody
1998 Big Matt 16/1 10-10-11
Ted Benfield & Bill Brown
Nicky Henderson GB Mick Fitzgerald
1997 Klairon Davis 11/10 Fav 8-12-00
Chris Jones
Arthur Moore Francis Woods
1996 Klairon Davis 5/2 7-12-00
Chris Jones
Arthur Moore Francis Woods
1995 Strong Platinum 3/1 Fav 7-11-01
Theresa McCoubrey
Paddy Burke Conor O’Dwyer
1994 Saraemma 16/1 8-10-12
Dermot Cox
Homer Scott Kevin O’Brien
1993 Viking Flagship 5/4 Fav 6-10-07
Roach Foods Ltd
David Nicholson GB Richard Dunwoody
1992 The Musical Priest 8/1 10-10-07
Mrs Seamus Purcell
Michael Purcell Jason Titley
1991 Good For A Laugh 8/1 7-9-11
Dr Michael Smurfit
Arthur Moore Charlie Swan
1990 Rust Never Sleeps 14/1 6-10-06
D M Murphy
Austin Leahy Gerry O’Neill
1989 Super Furrow 12/1 9-12-00
Mrs M Marshall
Jerry O’Neill Padge Gill
1988 Flying Ferret 8/1 7-9-07
Mrs V O’Leary
Tony Redmond Brendan Powell
1987 Eddie Wee 11/2 Jt Fav 11-10-12
Mrs Y Rock
Billy Rock Conor O’Dwyer
1986 Another Brownie 6/1 7-9-07
S Lucey
M McGrath J P Byrne
1985 Buck House 11/10 Fav 7-11-07
Mrs S Purcell
Mouse Morris Tommy Carmody
1984 Travelowen 6/4 Fav 7-12-00
Mrs M Kelly
Tom Costello Mr Tom Costello
1983 Turloughmore Lad 7/1 8-9-07
M McDonagh
Paddy Norris Paul Leech
1982 Light The Wad 3/1 9-11-03
Exors of Patrick Downey
Dessie Hughes Tom Morgan
1981 Light The Wad 6/1 8-10-10
Patrick Downey
Dessie Hughes Frank Leavy
1980 Paddy Bouler 7/4 Fav 7-11-04
P Rooney
Pat Rooney S Lynch