Royal Thief back in style from an enforced absence
Royal Thief (14/1) was another horse to deliver off a lengthy absence in Punchestown when taking the Total Event Rental (QR) Handicap Steeplechase.
Patrick Mullins was on board and the pair made eye-catching headway at the penultimate fence. Fakiera was boxing on at the front under the welter burden of 12st 5lb and hugged the far rail as he attempted to make the best way home.
Royal Thief was kept wide and was produced by Mullins to lead narrowly at the last from the brave Fakiera. The new leader stayed on strongly on the run-in as Fakiera (5/1) gave best and there was some 10 lengths between them at the winning post. Notice To Close was another four and a half lengths back in third at 5/1.
“I'm delighted with that. Patrick was brilliant on him,” said Henry de Bromhead.
“He said there was a fresh strip out at the wing and he went that way so fair play to him. It worked really well.
“He hadn't run for a long time so it's great and I'm delighted for Gigginstown.