Banbridge wins Champion Chase in final stride at Punchestown

JJ Slevin rode the Joseph O’Brien-trained Banbridge to victory in the Grade One Champion Chase on day one of the Punchestown Festival.

The 6-1winner pipped Racheal Blackmore on Cheltenham victor Captain Guinness in the final stride.

Henry de Bromhead's Captain Guinness had last been seen winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase this month.

Another win appeared to be on the cards after taking the lead from Dysart Dynamo at the top of the home straight.

However, the eight-year-old Banbridge would finish strongly and win by a neck.

The 11-10 favourite Dinoblue was a further length and a quarter away in third.

Banbridge's victory represented a turnaround from a disappointing showing in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

"It was a fantastic race, a great two-mile chase, and a fantastic ride from JJ," said O'Brien.

"It wasn't our day in Cheltenham but we're delighted to win a big race here today.

"We took the chance at Cheltenham because it's Cheltenham, but it didn't work out.

"We freshened him up to come here and I'm delighted to win a big race with him."