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Wednesday, March 18, 1998 Published at 20:07 GMT


One Man delights Queen Mother
image: [ Jockey Harding and winning horse One Man ]
Jockey Harding and winning horse One Man

One Man lifted his festival jinx with victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase thanks to a near flawless display on his first start in a chase over two miles.

The win finally put paid to the memory of two years ago when One Man folded when seemingly poised for victory, tormenting trainer Gordon Richards.

BBC correspondent Cornelius Lysaght reports on the astonishing saga of Top Cees (1'31'')
But the grey held all the cards as he carried jockey Brian Harding, a late replacement for Tony Dobbin who broke his thumb, to a popular triumph.

Starting strongly, he matched the 5-2 favourite Ask Tom.

By the time he had shaken off his rival with three jumps remaining, he was in familiar territory with the race his for the taking.

Harding seized his chance and urged One Man to a four lengths victory from Or Royal. Lord Dorcet grabbed third place.

Former winners Klairon Davis and Viking Flagship were nowhere to be seen and finished fourth and fifth ahead of Ask Tom who trailed home sixth.

[ image: Queen Mother: delighted by the win]
Queen Mother: delighted by the win
One Man's owner, John Hales, said: "This is the cream on the cake.

"He has laid to rest all the knockers and won at the Festival.

"This is the first time he has ever run in a chase over two miles and he has proved what a talented horse he is.

"This is the pinnacle of One Man's career. What more does he have to do to deserve his place in racing history?"

Harding had only returned to racing after a year's absence caused by a serious head injury.

He said: "This is the best feeling in my life. I feel sorry for Tony. He was the first to ring me to wish me the best, but this makes up for all my bad luck."

In the other main race of the day, the Royal Sun Alliance Chase, the favourite Florida Pearl, ridden by Richard Dunwoody, gave the Irish the third win of the festival so far.

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