War of Attrition Victorious at Punchestown
On Thursday, the 16th of October 2008, Punchestown became the scene of an exciting showdown between two former Cheltenham Gold Cup champions. It was during the Star “Best For Racing Coverage” Chase, that War of Attrition and Kicking King battled it out for supremacy. It is a Grade 3 racing event for four year old horses and older, and is run over a distance of two miles and six furlongs. But the horse racing veterans proved that age is merely a number, and that comebacks are possible in the world of horse racing.
There were four runners in the Star “Best For Racing Coverage” Chase and many were a little torn by the fact that War Of Attrition, who is known as a great performing horse, has suffered injuries and had not been on the horse racing scene for 658 days. Not many horses are able to return to the track and perform as they did before. But the nine year old War Of Attrition recaptured his 2005 Cheltenham Gold Cup glory, by showing the same strength, determination and ability as he had become known for.
Davy Russell rode War Of Attrition on Thursday, and looked as confident on him as his ex-jockey, Conor O’Dwyer was while watching the race. The retired jockey did not look worried when War Of Attrition jumped slightly to the left at the start of the race, as he commented that it was a an old trait of the experienced horse. Russell and War Of Attrition began to chase down Kicking King, winning the race by nineteen lengths. Mouse Morris, War Of Attrition’s trainer, commented: "You couldn't ask for more from the horse. Hopefully he'll be sound in the morning. That's the race for us now. I've plenty of plans at the back of my head, but that is where they will stay for now.” A little disappointed, Kicking Kings’ trainer, Tom Taaffe reflected on the race, saying: "I thought they went fast enough on the ground. I was pleased with the way he jumped but he got tired and ran out of petrol. Hopefully he'll come on the run.”
War Of Attrition brought the house down at Punchestown, and the two front runners were followed home by Watson Lake in third and Supreme Mover in Fourth. Both Kicking King and War Of Attrition delivered magnificent performances, that their owners and trainers can be proud of.