Racing: Iron horse Adamant finds fresh tenacity

When a horse gets the approbation of those who graft at the coal face, it must be counted the nearest thing to a vote of approval from his fellows. So step forward, Adamant Approach, the racehorse's racehorse. Yesterday at Leopardstown the gelding celebrated the advent of his 14th year by winning for the 11th time on his 53rd outing. Giving weight to all his 26 rivals bar one, he prevailed by a head in the Pertemps Cheltenham qualifier, produced on the line by his trainer Willie Mullins' schoolboy son Patrick, only four years his senior.

Adamant Approach is on the Horse of the Year shortlist put forward by the Irish Stable Staff Association and yesterday's tenacious success - his sixth over hurdles; he has also won a bumper, three chases and a Flat race and earned some £220,000 - was a timely presentation of his lass Tracey Gilmour's case, seven years less three weeks from the day he made a winning debut in a bumper on the Co Dublin track.

It appears, from his record, that Adamant Approach was not so much foaled, as quarried, but it is a reputation that has taken time to grow into. "He won five races last year and he's started this one with a bang," said Mullins. "He seems so sound theses days, but it wasn't always so. He was favourite for the Cheltenham bumper as a six-year-old, but went wrong a few days before and we had to withdraw him.

"It's only in his latter years that he's become so durable, and developed a combination of speed and stamina. He's a remarkable character and Patrick, who rides him out and adores him, knows every inch of him."

Yesterday was Adamant Approach's first try at three miles and he is likely to stay at marathon trips now. His target at Cheltenham - where he has been a regular, falling at the last in the Supreme Novices' on his first visit when looking all over the winner, and third in the County Hurdle last year on his latest- will be either the Pertemps Final or the Coral Cup.

The gallant 13-year-old's most lucrative payday came five years ago, when he took the Pierce Hurdle as a novice, en route to his Cheltenham tumble. The latest victor, 16-1 shot Spring The Que will also head for the Festival, but the County Hurdle is almost an afterthought. Yesterday, in time-honoured fashion, was the plan.

And a tremendous piece of long-term planning it was too by Robert Tyner. The West Cork trainer has had problematic times with his eight-year-old charge, who damaged his back nearly two years ago and returned to action after a long layoff with a gratifying second place at Punchestown last month.

Dropped back to two miles, and with claimer Philip Enright taking seven pounds off, the gelding ran out a two and a half-length winner from Adamant Approach's stablemate Mister Hight. It was a fine performance in a competitive contest round Leopardstown's sharp inner track by the cool young rider, belying his inexperience.

"You can never be over-confident in a 30-runner race," said Tyner, "but I knew the horse was very well. We'd hoped to get two runs into him before this one, but he came out of the first in such good form we didn't need to.

"He has the class to travel through the race and he was very well in at the weights. We could go to Cheltenham with him, but to be honest this was the race we've been thinking about for two and a half years."

Both Mister Hight and another Closutton inmate, ninth-placed Quatre Heures, will be seen next in Britain, in next month's Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury, as will the third, New Field. Yesterday's race was marred, though, by the death of Breathing Fire, from the Jessica Harrington yard, in a first-flight fall.

The Irish National has been a significant recent pointer to the real thing at Aintree - as Bobbyjo and Numbersixvalverde have attested - and last year's Fairyhouse winner Point Barrow advertised his own credentials by carrying top-weight to success in the Leopardstown Chase.

Timmy Murphy landed the Pat Hughes-trained nine-year-old the three-quarter-length winner from A New Story in the shadow of the post, but it was not one of the jockey's confident, cheeky waiting rides. Rather, he was hard at work from some way out and still had eight in front as he drove round the home turn.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Wingman (Plumpton 1.30)

NB: Global Traffic (Wolverhampton 4.10)

News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
Sport
Premier League Live Saturday 23 August
sportAll the action from today's Premier League matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

JavaScript Developer (C++ / C# / HTML, Java Angular.js) London

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A world leading business intellig...

Application Support Analyst-(UNIX, Linux, Financial Services)

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support Analyst-(UNIX...

Application Support Analyst - SQL, UNIX, Linux

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support Analyst - SQL...

Application Support - FIX protocol, UNIX, SQL, Windows, OMS

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Application Support - FIX protoco...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition