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)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project