DELTA WORK (11-2) swatted away his rivals with a last-gasp victory in the Grade 1 Savills Chase at Leopardstown.
Gordon Elliott’s brilliant stayer had that little bit too much gas for the braveMonalee (8-1) in second.
In a thriller, it was Delta Work’s proven stamina that made the difference.
Coming with a strong, late burst down the outside of a star-studded field, jockey Jack Kennedy galvanised his mount to overhaul Monalee in the shadows of the post.
Rachael Blackmore lost her irons aboard the runner-up late in the piece, but it’s unlikely the mishap made any difference to the result.
A thrilled Michael O’Leary said: “Delta’s always been a very good horse.
“He ran badly at Down Royal last time out. Jack gave him a great ride and he has loads of confidence now.
It’s been a great day and a great Christmas.”
Road To Respectstuck on grimly to complete a 1-3 for owners Gigginstown House Stud, while Kemboy,sent off a strong favourite for his top team, made a number of mistakes and finished unplaced.
The result capped a fine day for Jack Kennedy in the saddle, who earlier landed another Grade 1 with mareApples Jade.
He said: “That’s as good as you’ll get.
“It more or less went as planned, although I was perhaps a bit closer than I wanted to be.
“I thought they went steady enough and he can be quite keen but he was jumping so well I had to take him back a bit.
“I had the clear run and was able to get him rolling. He winged the last and we landed running. He’s always been a well-liked horse and it’s great to get on him.
“There’ll be improvement to come, definitely.”