Instalment lays down RSA Chase marker

Philip Fenton’s Last Instalment maintained his unblemished record this season when making it four wins from four outings with an impressive success at Leopardstown’s February meeting, beating the useful Call The Police by a length-and-a-half in the Grade 1 Dr P J Moriarty Novices Chase, writes Elliot Slater.

Ireland’s leading contender for the Grade 1 RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on March 14 looks a seriously good horse and once again jumped impeccably apart from a minor error at the second from home, by which point he was already in control of the race and anyone with a Cheltenham Free bet will have been impressed.

To his credit Call the Police kept on well in second with Lambro a further couple of lengths away in third, but the impression from the stands was that the odds-on favourite always had maters under control as he came through his pre-Cheltenham race without a scare and anyone looking at the Betfair Horse Racing should bear this in mind.

A thorough stayer, the gelded son of Anshan found the good to soft ground as quick as he can handle and Fenton was quick to stress that while he has every intention of sending the current 7/1 shot to take on Grand Crus and Bobs Worth in the RSA Chase, he would not be prepared to risk the seven-year-old on ground any faster than he encountered at Leopardstown. Soft or even heavy conditions are the preferred terrain for the horse who has now won seven of his nine career starts and was winning his second Grade 1 contest in a row having handed out a six-length beating to the very useful First Lieutenant in the Fort Leney Novice Chase at Leopardstown just before the turn of the year.

Although he is confidently expected to go for the three-mile contest at Cheltenham, Last Instalment still holds an entry for the three-furlong shorter Grade 2 Jewson Novices Chase for which he is currently a 10/1 shot.

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