Fakir D’Oudairies became the latest Irish raider to claim big-race honours on British soil with a battling victory in the Betfair Ascot Chase on Saturday.

The raiding party’s dominance of last year’s Cheltenham Festival is well documented at this stage, while earlier this season A Plus Tard lifted the Betfair Chase and Tornado Flyer plundered the King George.

There has not been an Irish-trained winner of this particular Grade 1 contest since Sound Man struck gold for Edward O’Grady in 1996, but Fakir D’Oudairies ended the 26-year wait under Mark Walsh.

Joseph O’Brien’s charge had already carried the colours of leading owner J.P. McManus to two top-level victories and kicked off the current campaign with a Grade 2 success in the Clonmel Oil Chase.

He had proved no match for the brilliant Allaho on his two most recent outings at Punchestown and Thurles, but was the 9/4 favourite to bounce back to winning ways in Berkshire.

With King George third Saint Calvados pulling up and a bad mistake four fences from home knocking the stuffing out of last year’s winner Dashel Drasher, it was 25/1 shot Two For Gold who led the way turning for home.

It took Fakir D’Oudairies a while to wear him down, but he eventually got on top after the final obstacle and had a length and three-quarters in hand at the line.