Kempes glory amid the gore

The grimly bizarre events yesterday at Newbury, where racing was abandoned on safety grounds after two horses were fatally electrocuted in the parade ring before the first race, shifted the sporting focus, with just over four weeks to go before the start of the Cheltenham Festival, to the high-class card at Leopardstown.

In the most valuable of the afternoon's four Grade One contests, the Hennessy Gold Cup, Kempes came off the bench to prove himself an admirable substitute for his Willie Mullins team-mate Cooldine, who earlier in the week was ruled out of not only a Cheltenham Gold Cup challenge but the rest of the season because of a breathing problem.

But a day that had started badly continued in the same vein. Glencove Marina, the gallant runner-up in the Co Dublin track's feature chase, collapsed and died 50 yards after the line having suffered an internal haemorrhage and British challenger Money Trix was left fighting for his life in a veterinary hospital after being pulled up with a leg injury. At Warwick, Kilmurry could not be saved after breaking down going to the final fence in the Grade Two chase, challenging the winner Finian's Rainbow at the time.

On ground perceived as softer than ideal, Kempes travelled strongly under David Casey throughout the three miles before quickening away after the penultimate obstacle. He was four-and-a-half lengths clear of his ill-fated rival at the line, with last year's winner Joncol the same distance third.

At the start of the day Kempes was a 66-1 longshot for the Gold Cup; by close of play he was as short as 20-1. "The suprise wins are always the best," said Mullins. "I'd asked David to go out and get him to jump round, and if he'd any chance to take it; I knew if he did jump round he'd have more speed than the others."

Mullins confirmed that Cheltenham would be the next for Kempes. "Better ground there will suit him well," he added. The gelding is owned by JP McManus, whose Fenix Two was one of those killed at Newbury, and the victory was also some compensation for Mullins for the earlier defeats of the much-fancied pair Mikael D'Haguenet and Zaidpour.

The former was hampered by the fall of stablemate Quel Esprit, when third to Bostons Angel in the PJ Moriarty Chase; the latter was put in his place by Oscars Well in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle. Both winners are trained by Jessie Harrington and were ridden by Robbie Power. Oscars Well is likely to tackle the Neptune Hurdle next month, for which he around 7-1, rather than the longer Albert Bartlett Hurdle. In the two-and-a-half mile championship the six-year-old will likely meet Paul Nicholls-trained Al Ferof, who took the sole race staged at Newbury.

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor