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ZEBASTATING; Power is a Big winner.


BIG ZEB won his third Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase in four years when getting the better of Noble Prince in yesterday's Leopardstown feature.

The ten-year-old, sent off 8/11 favourite, made an uncharacteristic mistake at the second fence, but travelled well under Robert Power before being roused to challenge at the final fence

Soon in front, the 2010 two-mile champion chaser was driven out to score by a length and a quarter, to the delight of trainer Colm Murphy, who admitted being "thrilled to bits" before commenting: "It turned into a sprint from the back off of the second last.

"But even at ten, he still has loads of pace. He met the last two fences spot-on, when it was needed, and won well."

Murphy confirmed Punchestown's Tied Cottage Chase as Big Zeb's next assignment, before returning to Cheltenham for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, which he won two years and in which he finished second to Sizing Europe last year.

Big Zeb was cut to 5/1 (from 6) for the Queen Mother by both Boylesports and Stan James, with reigning champion Sizing Europe remaining favourite at 5/2. Unfortunately, Golden Silver, winner of 11 races for Willie Mullins (including three Grade 1 events) suffered a fatal fall at the fifth fence in the big race.

In-form Andrew Lynch registered his fourth Grade 1 success in December, as Cash And Go dug deep to hold Dylan Ross by a half-length, with 4.9 favourite Sous Les Cieux a well-beaten third, after running keenly in front and being outpaced when 'fluffing' the final flight.

Trainer Edward O'Grady said: "It wasn't a big surprise - we were very hopeful. And the race worked out as we expected. He probably won't run again until Cheltenham."

The William Hill Supreme Novices Hurdle will be Cash And Go's Cheltenham target. Ladbrokes make him a 14/1 shot for the Festival opener while both Boylesports and Stan James go 16/1. O'Grady had initiated a double when the Tony McCoy-ridden The Way We Were turned over the Willie Mullins' trained 30/100 favourite Aupcharlie in the earlier Android App Maiden Hurdle.

And the Noel Meade-trained five-year-old Cross Appeal, enterprisingly ridden by Paul Carberry, landed the EUR190,000 Paddy Power Chase, stretching clear between the last two fences before tiring and holding the late surges of Treacle and Groody Hill.


POWER SURGE Robbie Power & Big Zeb in the parade ring after their win yesterday (above) s
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 28, 2011
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