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Last Updated: 05/11/11 4:52pm
Quito De La Roque: Dramatic winner
Quito De La Roque won a thrilling JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.
Colm Murphy's charge was sent off the 11/4 favourite but was scrubbed along from a fairly early stage.
The Nightingale and Sizing Europe kicked clear before the turn for home and looked to have the race between them however both horses made bad mistakes which halted their momentum.
Davy Russell's mount had looked out of it, but found plenty of stamina reserves and started to pick up the leaders approaching the last fence.
Despite a sloppy jump, his momentum went unchecked and as Sizing Europe tied up badly the seven-year-old reeled him in with 50 yards to run.
"I was a bit disappointed with the way he travelled," Murphy told At The Races.
"He hadn't had an ideal preparation coming here. We drilled him and probably knocked a bit of the freshness off him to come here.
"I'm delighted (to win) - he's just pure guts and he's as tough as nails.
"He's a second-season novice, it was a great performance today. He just won today because he's a good horse.
"We will see if he has another run before Christmas but I'd imagine we'd discuss going straight for the Lexus."
Winning owner Michael O'Leary, who campaigns the horse in his Gigginstown House Stud colours, added: "That was the ride of the season from Davy Russell. I was shouting at him to pull him up a circuit out."
Russell said: "Hopefully he'll improve for that. He's a horse with a lot of stamina."
Henry De Bromhead's champion chaser was a runner-up in the race for the second year in a row, whilst Paul Nicholls' The Nightingale finished in third.
Bostons Angel unseated his rider before the turn for home, but looked to be struggling at the time on his first run of the season.
Sky Bet go 16/1 (from 20s) for the Cheltenham Gold Cup following his win and spokesman Matt Doyle said: "We were impressed with the winner and there's every sign that the trip at Cheltenham would suit him down to the ground."
Stan James trimmed the winner to 12/1 (from 20s), whilst Betfred go 14/1 and Boylesports were even more impressed, cutting him to 10/1.