TOP Irish jockey Bryan Cooper added another major race to his burgeoning tally when Don Cossack won the Ladbrokes Ireland Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles.
Gordon Elliott’s chaser came home clear after the Ruby Walsh-ridden Champagne Fever fell at the final fence when the two horses were disputing the lead.
Don Cossack, now unbeaten in four starts this season, is expected to line up in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
“It was a great race and rode a good race. I thought I had the beating of Champagne Fever,” said Cooper. “Don Cossack missed the second-last, but 20 yards from the last he picked up and rallied and I was quite confident I had the better of him.
“You have to wind him up properly before you go for him and I didn’t want to get done for toe by Champagne Fever, so I took Ruby on early as I knew he’d keep going and he did it well. He is improving. Because of the size of him he was only a frame of a horse last year.”
Superstar chaser Sprinter Sacre has been declared for tomorrow’s Grade One Clarence House Chase at Ascot after trainer Nicky Henderson confirmed that he was satisfied with conditions at the Berkshire track.
Meanwhile Henderson’s novice chaser Josses Hill, an impressive winner at Doncaster seven days ago, could reappear at Musselburgh on February 1 before a tilt at the Arkle Trophy.