Posted: 20th Nov 2016
Identity Thief (right) jumps alongside stablemate Ordinary WorldPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Report: Punchestown, Sunday
Ryans Cleaning Craddockstown Novice Chase (Grade 2) 2m, 4yo+
LAST Sunday David Attenborough narrated over rare images of a snow leopard with her cub. This Sunday it was Dessie Scahill's turn to tell the story of the lesser spotted Identity Thief as he made it two wins from two over fences with a possibly impressive performance.
When the commentary is heavy on words like 'probably' and 'presuming' it is a bit of a giveaway no-one has much of a clue what is going on. In heavy fog it was nigh on impossible to see much bar the last 50 yards, but in that 50 yards an Identity Thief-shaped silhouette could be seen pulling away with ease from another that turned out to be stablemate Ordinary World, under hands and heels.
Still, several firms cut Identity Thief for the Racing Post Arkle just in case what was not seen was impressive. BoyleSports on the other hand pushed him out to 10-1 after his one length success, proving the betting market is just as confused as everyone else.
The only person with much of an idea as to what happened was the man on board, Bryan Cooper, and he seemed happy enough. "He got the job done," he said.
Cooper did elaborate, providing the race's only illumination. "The ground wasn't ideal for him, he's always going to be a better horse on better ground. We went a proper gallop from the word go and he'll have learned a lot more today.
"He jumped with a lot of fluency and I would have won a lot cosier if he'd jumped the last, but I popped it as it was never in doubt. I feel he got a good education today and that's what we wanted to do. We got a lead in a proper run race and I'm happy."
He added: "It was never in doubt from the back of the third last, I always felt I had them covered. I jumped very well and I got a lovely lead off Davy [Russell - rider of Ordinary World], I'd land upsides him at fences and take him back and get a tow again. I was getting a length or two at every fence and it's a learning curve."
Attribution finished third to make it a 1-2-3 for trainer Henry de Bromhead and the trainer added: "He did it well. They went a decent gallop and he jumped very well.
"Bryan was very happy with him and the horse should have learned more today than when winning here last time. He'll probably go to Leopardstown at Christmas for the Racing Post Novice Chase."
Also on Sunday
Florida Pearl Novice Chase (Grade 2) 2m6½f, 5yo+
TRAINER Gordon Elliott did his best to try and emulate Henry de Bromhead's 1-2-3 in the Craddockstown Novice Chase as A Toi Phil was chased home by stablemate Jetstream Jack.
Once again, much of what happened in the race was a mystery with thick fog enveloping Punchestown and it was only on the run to the final fence when anything could be seen for certain.
The horse who emerged from the fog and soared over the final fence in style was A Toi Phil, who charged away under Ruby Walsh to take the prize from the Jack Kennedy-ridden Jetstream Jack.
Elliott, who trained the winner for Gigginstown House Stud, said: "Ruby said that when a gap appeared between horses before the second last, he quickened through it and was gone. He probably wouldn't want it any softer than it was today. He'll probably go for the Drinmore at Faiyhouse in two weeks time."
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