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Last Updated: 29/12/10 6:02pm
Big Zeb: scored gamely at Leopardstown on Wednesday afternoon
Big Zeb, trained by Colm Murphy and ridden by Barry Geraghty, won the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown on Wednesday.
The Queen Mother Champion Chase winner had readily brushed aside Golden Silver on his reappearance at Navan in November but Murphy had concerns about the testing conditions.
The nine year old's jumping used to be a cause for concern but that is now a thing of the past and he notably outjumped Golden Silver on more than one occasion and posted another fluent leap at the last having travelled strongly into the race.
It was hard work for Geraghty and Big Zeb from thereon in as the testing ground took its toll on the run to the line but the gelding responded well and never looked like being reeled in by the rallying Golden Silver and Scotsirish who had cut out the running.
Golden Silver has progressed well over the past two seasons but has now tasted defeat on all four occasions that he has come up against Big Zeb.
Captain Cee Bee was back in fourth but may have needed this with Eddie Harty concerned that his stable star may have been a gallop or two short whilst the ground would have been testing enough for the former Supreme Novices' winner.
Murphy said: "He'll go next for the Tied Cottage at Punchestown and then back to Cheltenham for the Champion Chase.
"Hopefully we can keep him ticking over between now and then.
"We were easy on him after Navan and he missed some work leading up to this race due to the weather.
"Barry said that you'd know he missed that work in the closing stages.
"He jumped really well and is settling a lot better now.
"Maybe he's just getting a bit of sense, but he's a lot more laid-back, both at home and in his races."
Geraghty added: "Nicky (Henderson) had a big team of horses going to Newbury, including Punchestowns, but AP (McCoy) was free to ride him so it all worked out well in the end.
"He had beaten the other two but he hadn't met Captain Cee Bee before and his form was good.
"We'd beaten Golden Silver before and when I gave him a squeeze turning in and jumped the last well the race was over.
"He just idled a little and got tired but I was fairly sure he'd win if he jumped round.
"He doesn't mind a small field. I just wanted to settle and jump and he settles a lot better this year.
"He would have had a tough race so he'll probably take a little bit to recover.
"It's a good prize in its own right. Everyone wants to win at Cheltenham but this was a great prize."