sport

Easy for Arvika after Sir fall

Arvika Ligeonniere enjoyed a stroll to win the John Durkan Memorial Chase after Sir Des Champs fell at third fence.

The Grade One contest had already been hit hard when Flemenstar was taken out 24 hours before the contest and was weakened further by the early loss of last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Sir Des Champs.

Happily, Davy Russell and his mount were both quickly on their feet, but Arvika Ligeonniere was left with only outsider Rubi Light to beat.

To his credit, the runner-up gave it his best shot, but Ruby Walsh always had the upper hand aboard the 4/7 favourite, who jumped boldly at times and stretched away between the final two fences, ultimately scoring with ease.

"I'm glad Davy's up and the horse, but it is a chase and they're there to be jumped," Walsh told At The Races.

"I don't which way we'll be going now, but I think he's got lots of pace and I'd be going back [in trip] rather than further out.

"I'd imagine he might go back, but Willie [Mullins, trainer] might have different ideas."

Owner Rich Ricci added: "It's disappointing that Sir Des Champs fell, but I'm not sure anything would have beaten us today.

"He's some sight when he attacks his fences like that and he just really seems to have improved this season.

"He's jumping well and he looked a picture today, so long may it continue.

"It would be exciting to see him come back in trip. There's the Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and we might look at that."