HomeNewsBarry Connell's "horse of a lifetime" wins beginners' chase at Leopardstown

Barry Connell’s “horse of a lifetime” wins beginners’ chase at Leopardstown

Marine Nationale (1/2 favourite) made a successful chasing debut in The Paddy Power From The Horses Mouth Podcast Beginners Chase over 2 miles 1 furlong at Leopardstown on Wednesday.

Sent into the lead early by jockey Michael O’Sullivan, last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner at Cheltenham was challenged for a while by Feu Du Bresil from the Willie Mullins yard.

The Barry Connell-owned and trained son of French Navy, Marine Nationale, ran his rivals into submission to run out a very comfortable eight and a half-length winner over 8/1 chance Firm Footings (Jack Kennedy/Gordon Elliott), with Walk With Paul (22/1) a further 12 lengths behind in third for Conor and Martin Brassil.

“I don’t think he made a mistake” admitted Barry Connell. “He was very efficient, he just popped and popped, he never had to ask him for one. So, back here for the Irish Arkle and on to the Arkle.

“We’re thrilled to have him back. He’s the horse of a lifetime, he really is the horse of a lifetime, and I’m just blessed that he came into out yard.

“They’re one in ten thousand these horses. You only get one in a lifetime if you’re lucky. The big yards maybe get 10 a lifetime. This horse is exceptional – we’re only a custodian of him. Hopefully he can go on unbeaten during the season. All the good horses get beaten … anything can happen. It’s a massive relief.”

Last season’s Grade 1 Royal Bond winner, Marine Nationale, is now six wins from six in his career to date.

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