/ Racing

Three and easy for Zeb in Fortria

Updated: Sunday, 13 Nov 2011 21:54

Big Zeb won the Fortria Chase at Navan for the third time
Big Zeb won the Fortria Chase at Navan for the third time

Big Zeb bravely won a third consecutive Fortria Chase at Navan.

Colm Murphy's Queen Mother Champion Chase runner-up came up trumps following an absorbing three-way tussle with Noble Prince and Forpadydeplasterer.

The latter, who made most of the running, looked to have nothing more to give once Big Zeb (2-1) took the lead two out.

But he did not give in easily, while young pretender Noble Prince, sent off the even-money favourite, also put in a strong bid.

But Robbie Power's mount was most determined and got the verdict by two lengths from Noble Prince.

Power said: "I would have loved to have been going a couple of gears quicker.

"He was jumping so well and I was taking him back after every fence - he has a great cruising speed.

"He idled when he got to the front. He is 10 years of age, but he still has plenty of ability."

Murphy, who was recording a double having scored earlier with Voler La Vedette, said: "I'm thrilled to bits.

"He was very good today. They were never going hard enough for him. It's a great way to start him back and it's a relief to get that out of the way.

"We will keep him ticking over now until Leopardstown at Christmas which is the plan. He is really well in himself and his jumping was very slick today.

"He will improve plenty for it."

Paul Nolan, trainer of the runner-up, Noble Prince, said: "He ran well. He was beaten by a better horse, a legend.

"We don't pick up the same on that ground as we do on better ground."

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