El Fabiolo took the win in the Arkle Chase as he edged out Jonbon, who finished in second as the punters got it spot on. Willie Mullins secured another win with Paul Townend on board, as Ireland took the opening two races of the Festival. It was the first winner for Mullins in this race since 2019, and marks his fifth win in the race.
"Huge engine, improving the whole time,” the jockey said after a brilliant run.
"I was happy we got in a good gallop and he came alive at the right time. The engine has always been there."
It was such a composed run from a seriously impressive horse, and he was put under pressure by the quick leader Dysart Dynamo. The fellow Mullins horse took the early lead with Jonbon in second and El Fabiolo in third. The horse was keen to lead the running as they swung away from the main stand and he stretched clear with six to go. Jonbon was trying to close the gap in second as El Fabiolo began to gain ground on the inside.
Those three broke clear of the field with four to go and Dysart Dynamo was jumping well in a good rhythm while Jonbon was seemingly struggling over the fences. Dysart remained strong up the hill while Jonbon pressed on, but it was El Fabiolo, the pre-race favourite that cruised up the inside.
Townend guided him up on the rail and while Jonbon tried to press, Willie Mullins’ horse flew off the final hurdle to take the win. Unfortunately Dysart Dynamo fell at the final hurdle, but he got up to a huge cheer from the crowd after such an incredible race. It was a race that had given us so much, as Ireland bagged another win to go 2-0 up in the Prestbury Cup.
With Constitution Hill to come, the British will be hopeful of getting one on the board, but from what we have seen so far, this is going to be a week for the Irish. Jonbon will be disappointed with second place, having won eight of his nine starts before this - and El Fabiolo becomes only the second horse to beat him after Constitution Hill. He was pretty much perfect ahead of this run, but was just beaten by a terrific horse on the day.
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