LILITH gained the biggest success of her career with a decisive victory in the £30,000 Close Brothers Irish EBF Mares’ Handicap Chase over an extended two and a half miles at Punchestown on Thursday evening. And I was pleased that some of the Decimus VI Syndicate, owners of Lilith, could be there yesterday to celebrate her win.
She won in style, too, with the help of a positive ride from Rex Dingle who had her nicely positioned behind the leaders before letting her ease to the front three fences from home.
Lilith, travelled comfortably throughout, was clear two out and and kept on strongly to beat Western Zara by five lengths without being asked any questions.
We enjoy our trips to the Punchestown Festival where we’ve had two winners with several more going close including Regal Encore, twice, and Cresswell Breeze. I can’t praise our Travelling Head Lad, Joss Parker, enough for all the hard work that he puts in on these trips – his organisational skills are second to none – thank you Joss !
The race in Ireland looked an attractive fit for Lilith who is hard as nails, has been running consistently all season, and looked to have taken a step forward when winning easily at Newbury early in March. She was running off an English handicap mark of 116 on Thursday, so hopefully there is more to come from her.
We have always had her down as a soft ground performer over a trip, yet she seemed to appreciate the better conditions at Newbury and Punchestown over a slightly shorter trip.
Deja Vue, our other runner in the race, finished sixth on her final start before going to stud. She has done well for us and it was a shame to see her jumping let her down in the later stages of the race.