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China strikes Punchestown gold

Sat, 28 April 2012

China Rock made a swift reappearance pay as he triumphed in thetote.com Punchestown Gold Cup, the big race on the final day of the Festival meeting.

Mouse Morris's nine-year-old was making his second appearance after finishing fourth in the two-mile Champion Chase at the track on Tuesday, and was stepping back up in trip to three miles and a furlong.

Barry Geraghty was clearly cruising aboard the 20-1 outsider as front-running favourite Quel Esprit tried to kick clear turning for home, and he bided his time before launching his challenge at the second-last. China Rock picked up in style and repelled last year's winner Follow The Plan by five lengths.