Our Duke (right) beats Coney Island at Leopardstown Image by www.healyracing.ie

Our Duke (right) beats Coney Island at Leopardstown
Image by www.healyracing.ie

Our Duke showed the heart of a lion to fight back in a tremendous three-way battle for the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Nine lined-up for this three mile contest with Bellow Mome taking the first in front of Our Duke and Alpha Des Obeaux.

With four jumped, Bellow Mome held a narrow lead from Martello Tower to the inside and then Alpha Des Obeaux and Our Duke, with Disko on the heels of the leaders along with Coney Island.

Bellow Mome took a closely bunched field into the home straight and out onto their final circuit.

Briar Hill crashed out before the field reached the back straight but was thankfully up quickly. Meanwhile, Our Duke and Alpha Des Obeaux went on from Bellow Mome who started to back pedal, with Coney Island, Martello Tower and Disko all prominent and A Toi Phil getting closer.

In a wide open race, Our Duke narrowly led at the fifth from home with the grey Disko disputing and Coney Island close up.

Disko moved to the front four out but the remaining eight were within five lengths. Bellow Mome hit the third last hard and dropped back.

At two out Disko led from Coney Island who travelled well, with A Toi Phil still improving and then Our Duke.

At the last Disko was in front but under pressure and joined by Coney Island, while Our Duke stayed on again to the inside.

The three all jumped the last well and settled down for a stirring race to the line. Disko touched down in front, but Coney Island, racing between horses, hit the front. However, as Disko rallied to the stands side, Our Duke and Robbie Power, with the rail to help, also came back into contention and their game effort saw them hit the front with less than 100 yards to race.

At the line Our Duke gained the verdict by about ½ a length from Coney Island, with Disko a close third, this trio miles clear of Martello Tower and A Toi Phil.

This was a tremendous result for the Jessica Harrington team, as this 6 year old had only made his chasing debut just over three weeks earlier, when impressively beating Gwencily Berbas at Navan.