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Sizing Coal prevails in Joseph O'Reilly thriller

Sizing Coal prevails in Joseph O'Reilly thriller

There was a dramatic conclusion to the 2018 renewal of the rescheduled Joseph O’Reilly Memorial Hunter Chase, as the well-supported favourite Sizing Coal was all out to supplement his course success from February.

The 5/4 shot always travelled comfortably in the slowly run contest, and once brought into a challenging position by Jamie Codd, the 10-year-old eased his way up alongside the long-time leader Fenno’s Storm early in the home straight.
This season’s leading mare, Wilcosdiana, who was looking to follow-up her wide-margin success at Cork over Easter, held every chance swinging in, however her effort began to flatten out from the second-last as Fenno’s Storm and Sizing Coal went on.
The latter picked-up best from the penultimate fence and looked to have the race sewn up, but that to discount the battling attitude of Fenno’s Storm, who rallied to Declan Queally’s drive.
Last month’s Tetretema winner was not aided by his jumping which likely proved costly, as his fast finishing effort, forced the 3m1f contest to a photo finish, only loosing out by a head to the favourite, who was carrying the colours of the late Alan and Ann Potts.

“It worked out in the end but jumping the last we thought we were home and hosed. He is a confidence horse and we brought him back to this game to try and freshen him up and keep him to smaller fields,” reported Tom Dreaper, son of the winning trainer Jim to AtTheRaces.
“The second horse is no mug and our other horse, Venitien De Mai, landed in front of him in the Tetretema and it was all over – he worried him out of it that day so he is a hardy horse. Jamie (Codd) got off and said don’t be thinking that we underperformed today, it was a solid race and we left some decent horses in behind. 
“I’ll tell you the truth, it is no rocket science, we just stopped riding him out. 
“He lives out in the field with a broodmare and Jamie Dwyer (who led him up) is one of the whippers for the Ward Union and he hunts him once a week and he goes hunter trialing too. We don’t train him like a racehorse and not that we would be great galloping people in the first place, he was a bit heavier than you would like, but he seems to be enjoying it and is thriving. Although he is 10, he is at the best that we can get him. 
“Jamie said that he wouldn’t be in a rush to go to Punchestown with him but that could be because he is suspended – I’d say that has more to do with it than anything else! 
“I suppose we have to look and see if he is in the league of Gilgamboa, Foxrock or JP’s other horse that won in Castletown-Geogheghan (Uxizandre), I don’t really know. 
“On strict ratings he is probably not but we have had a bit of joy at Stratford for their big meeting and we might have a look at that and go a similar route next year. He is only rising 11 so we might mix pointing and hunter chasing again next year, but whether he is a Foxhunters horse for over the water or not, we intentionally didn’t enter him this year, and I’d say he might just enjoy being the best horse in a race.”

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