The Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup produced an epic finish today at Leopardstown as Gordon Elliott took the big race of the day with Jack Kennedy steering Delta Work to a hard-earned success.
A superb spectacle saw the three horses that dominated the market in Kemboy, Delta Work and Presenting Percy, jump it almost in unison.
Kemboy and Paul Townend came up the rail and he had not fully asked for his effort, having jumped the second-last brilliantly.
Davy Russell had nursed Presenting Percy into contention, having been held up in rear, but Delta Work came there to lead at the last.
Kemboy would not give in but Delta Work was always holding him all the way to the line.
He beat Kemboy by a length and a half, with three and a quarter lengths further back to Presenting Percy, who ran a pleasing race.
"He settled lovely and jumped great. I was there in front for a while and he wasn't doing a whole lot up the straight," Kennedy said.
"He has improved from the last day. To be honest I thought I got there too soon."
Following on from a stunning successful Christmas period, this was further good news at then top level for Kennedy, who has had a torrid time with injuries recent seasons.
"Gordon and the O'Learys (Michael and Eddie) have been so good to me. Paddy my brother has been the biggest influence on my career too."
Delta Work is now as short as 4/1 for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup next month.
"The one thing we learned about this horse is let him take his time," Elliott said.
"It's all systems go now for the Gold Cup. Our horse is improving the whole time; we'll dream about another Gold Cup now."
Eddie O'Leary of owner Gigginstown House stud said: "Hopefully there is more in him. He is settling more and more. He jumped very well, Jack gave him a super, super ride. It was a proper, proper race. In fairness to Leopardstown, they've done a fantastic job with then ground today."
Johnny Ward reporting from Leopardstown
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