Enda Bolger and Aine O’Connor combined with Stand Up And Fight to claim the final hunter chase of the 2021/22 season when taking the Listowel Supporters Club Hunter Chase on Monday.
Sent off as the 2/5 favourite to follow-up his 11-length victory at Killarney four weeks earlier, similar tactics were employed albeit in vastly different conditions, with rain soaked ground resulting in the initial field of nine reduced to six following a number of withdrawals which included both Handy Headon and Na Trachtalai Abu.
Racing alongside the Castletown-Geoghegan open victor The Red Menace, JP McManus’ ten-year-old did not jump as aggressively as had been the case at Killarney, however he still remained at the head of affairs when the leading group was reduced down to three with the uncustomary fall of Ta Se Rua four out.
The Red Menace and Paul O’Neill were briefly able to inch they were to the front approaching the home straight before being swallowed up by both the odds-on favourite and the patiently ridden hat-trick seeking Stamp Your Feet soon after.
Although Stephen Connor’s mount did lay down a strong challenge, Aine O’Connor never had to get too serious aboard Stand Up And Flight as they took control of the race from the final fence to win going away by 11 lengths with a further 17 lengths back to The Red Menace who was the final finisher.
“He is great,” O’Connor said after the race. “His jumping wasn’t as good today as it can be. He was a little sticky early on but he got better as he went along.
“In Killarney my horse was jumping so well that he was outjumping the other horses, but Paul [O’Neill] was jumping as good as me today so I wasn’t getting it as handy. My fella battled down well.
“I find that if you bully him too much he tends to say no, I try to cajole him along as much as I can. He jumped the last two brilliantly and lengthened away. He was very good.”