Golden Silver finally got the better of arch rival, Big Zeb at the fifth attempt, when winning the Tied Cottage Chase at Punchestown on Sunday.
Colm Murphy’s Queen Mother Champion Chaser, Big Zeb took up the running at the third-last, but was closely stalked by Paul Townend on Golden Silver.. Barry Geraghty looked confident, but he got in tight to the final two fences, as Willie Mullins horse closed with every stride. There was not much in it at the line, but Big Zeb lost momentum on the run-in and went down by half a length.
Mullins said: “It just goes to prove the old adage that if you’re not in, you can’t win. He didn’t jump well early and he only got into it in the last half mile. I’d imagine he could go straight across the water (to Cheltenham). I was thinking of the Ryanair, but we’ll leave him in the Champion Chase as well and see what happens. I thought he could be a bit flat coming here off the back of recent runs, but maybe he is better suited to having a run rather than being trained.”
Murphy said: “There was always going to be a day like that and today was the day. Anyway, we learned plenty and he seems to be OK after it. He probably jumped too well to get there when he did.”