- Horse Racing
Tidal Bay bags Lexus Chase pot
Tidal Bay came with a withering late run to land the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
Paul Nicholls' gallant stayer looked out with the washing down the back straight, but Ruby Walsh kept asking the question and his mount responded after the last to cut down First Lieutenant yards from the line.
Flemenstar travelled like the best horse in the race and looked to have the prize in safe keeping when sweeping to the front, but Peter Casey's star's stamina ebbed away on the run to the line.
First Lieutentant collared Flemenstar 100 yards from the line, but he too was cut down by Tidal Bay. Sir Des Champs ran on doggedly having been badly outpaced and he finished a close fourth - narrowly behind a weary Flemenstar who claimed third.
"I thought out fellow was cooked four out, but he came again," Tidal Bay's owner Graham Wylie said. "He shows such guts. You have to be patient, he is an odd quirky character. It was a great training performance and a great ride."
Back In Focus, also owned by Graham Wylie, led home a Willie Mullins 1-2 in the Topaz Novice Chase when getting up in the shadow of the post to deny Aupcharlie.
Aupcharlie travelled supremely well and looked sure to score when striding clear turning for home, but Back In Focus is a dour stayer and he responded superbly to Ruby Walsh's urgings to wear down his stablemate and grab the Grade One contest.
Monksland produced a fine staying display to land the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle.
Whatuthink ensured it was a thorough test by setting a fierce gallop from the off. He was still at the head of affairs turning for home, but favourite Zaidpour swept past him at the final flight. However, Ruby Walsh began to send out the distress signals on Zaidpour and Monksland ground his way to the front in the final 100 yards to take the Grade Two prize for trainer Noel Meade and jockey Paul Carberry.