An Forghas appeared as though he had run his race after building up a big lead early in the bumper. But James Conheady had other ideas – and saved enough energy to win
Jockey James Conheady stunned the opposition with an incredible ride on a 999-1 in-running winner.
An Forghas, a huge outsider before the race started at 125-1, built up a huge lead in the closing bumper at Limerick.
Around 30 lengths clear of the field at halfway, the four-year-old looked sure to have used up too much energy.
Tailed off on his only prior start, An Forghas had his advantage cut back dramatically around six furlongs from the finish.
The pack appeared to have his measure, as he seemed tired on the heavy ground.
But the jockeys on the other six runners – and punters – were left stunned as the son of Shantaram picked up again.
An Forghas, who hit odds of 999-1 on Betfair, kept plugging away and went on to defeat his rivals by three and three-quarter lengths.
Fans dubbed it one of the most remarkable victories of the jumps season so far.
Corheady, also the breeder and trainer of the shock winner, had only been victorious on the point-to-point circuit prior to the contest.
To him the performance was not as much of a surprise as the betting suggested.
“He has been improving a lot at home so we were quietly confident, although it was a very competitive race,” he told the Racing Post.
“I’m working full-time in farming but we have always kept one or two horses, and this is definitely my biggest success.
“I knew he was going to be free so I decided to make the running and have him out on his own. He works at home on his own so it seemed the right thing to do.”
The feature Grade 2 Lyons Of Limerick Jaguar Land Rover Novice Hurdle did live up to market expectations.
Eric Bloodaxe, the 11-8 favourite, came home seven lengths ahead.
At Kempton, Shishkin maintained his unbeaten record over fences with a smooth display in the Grade 2Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Chase.
After the run, which jockey Nico de Boinville called “pretty phenomenal,” bookmakers were quick to react.
The chasing star is 5-4 (from 7-4) favourite with Coral for the 2022 Queen Mother Champion Chase.
“Shishkin was one of the few home challengers to triumph at last season’s Cheltenham Festival and after an impressive winning return to action, he’s once again a short-priced favourite for further glory next March,” said spokesman David Stevens.
The firm’s sponsored race, the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow, saw Iwilldoit (13-2) give local trainer Sam Thomas a fairytale triumph.