Slightly unlucky at this venue last time, the previous course and distance winner suffered no such problems on this occasion. Always travelling well on the heels of the leaders, McDonagh took it up leaving the back straight and it was never in doubt from there.
Following on from the earlier success of Darkened Jack Hackett was the second winner on this card to have previously shown a liking for the tight turns of the midlands track.
Ciaran Murphy, “He likes it around here. He won a beginners chase here and has run well over hurdles here even though he’s not a hurdler.
“I’d say we met a very well-handicapped horse the last day and we were hopeful today.
“He hasn’t been the easiest to train the last year but in fairness Sean (Reilly) has been very patient and given me a free rein. I’m delighted to get his head in front again.
“We’ll definitely think about the Midlands National now. He needs a bit of time between his races but it should fit in.
“We had blinkers on before and we just said we’d put the visor on today to change things around.”
Additional reporting by Alan Magee