Castlegrace Paddy proved too strong for hot favourite A Plus Tard in the Tote Fortria Chase at Navan.Henry de Bromhead’s A Plus Tard filled the runner-up spot behind Ballyoisin in last year’s renewal of the Grade Two contest – and having since won a Grade One at Leopardstown and finished a close-up third in the Ryanair at Cheltenham, he was well fancied to go one better.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – However, it was clear some way from home it was not going to be entirely straightforward for the 1-2 favourite, as he jumped stickily on occasions under Rachael Blackmore behind his pacesetting stablemate Ornua.After the latter dropped away early in the home straight, Pat Fahy’s stable star Castlegrace Paddy (9-1) took over the lead, with both A Plus Tard and Eclair De Beaufeu in hot pursuit.In the end it turned into a straight shootout and try as he might, A Plus Tard could never quite get on terms with Castlegrace Paddy, who passed the post half a length to the good in the hands of Bryan Cooper.- Advertisement – “He jumped brilliant and himself and Bryan seem to get on very well,” said Fahy.“Hopefully we can keep going in this direction. We won the Hilly Way Chase in Cork a couple of years ago, but didn’t have a great year after that, so we won’t get too carried away.“More than likely we’ll look at Leopardstown over Christmas. He’s beaten a horse there that will probably improve a lot, but so will ours – I’d rate him him a serious horse.- Advertisement – “Maybe if the ground was good you’d be looking to go up in trip, but on that sort of ground I think that (two miles) is his trip.”
Ighalo limped off with a dead leg in Watford’s win at West Ham after a heavy challenge from James Collins, but the Nigerian striker will be fit to face the high-flying Foxes. Jose Manuel Jurado, who has not featured since September with a hamstring injury sustained in training, remains sidelined. Tommie Hoban (groin) and Joel Ekstrand (knee) are long-term absentees. Provisional squad: Gomes, Arlauskis, Gilmartin, Nyom, Cathcart, Prodl, Ake, Paredes, Britos, Holebas, Belkalem, Capoue, Behrami, Dyer, Watson, Guedioura, Anya, Jurado, Layun, Berghuis, Pudil, Behrami, Abdi, Oulare, Diamanti, Ighalo, Deeney. Press Association Watford’s top scorer Odion Ighalo will be available for his side’s Barclays Premier League trip to Leicester on Saturday.
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