Racing: Casey steps in for Foxchapel victory

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The Independent Online

For the second time in 48 hours, an eleventh-hour jockey change preceded big-race victory when Foxchapel King won yesterday's Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown.

Whereas J P McNamara had only wounded pride after being replaced by Adrian Maguire on Florida Pearl at Kempton, Paul Carberry's absence in favour of David Casey on board Foxchapel King was down to an injured thumb.

Riding Limestone Lad in the Christmas Hurdle 35 minutes earlier, Carberry's thumb became inflamed as his mount lost out by a length in a stirring battle with Bannow Bay.

Casey, who had been left without a ride in the Ericsson when Sackville was withdrawn in the morning with a cold, was therefore given the leg up on Foxchapel King instead.

The Mouse Morris-trained eight-year-old duly completed a hat-trick at 9-2, jumping to the front three out and and holding off Native Upmanship by two and a half lengths. He will be aimed at the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup back at Leopardstown in February before a possible tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, for which he is now a 20-1 chance with Ladbrokes.

Paris Pike, on the comeback trail, was pulled up. Ferdy Murphy, his trainer, said: "Adrian [Maguire] pulled him up because he felt wrong. He's lame behind after pulling some muscles in his back. Thank God it's not the front leg."