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Saturday, July 21, 2012
Successful twice on the flat recently and having only his second outing over fences this year, the Philip Fenton-trained Caim Hill landed the €50,000 Gigginstown House Midlands National in Kilbeggan last night.
Ridden by Brian O’Connell, the nine-year-old wore down Osana on the long run-in (the last fence was omitted due to the low-lying sun) to triumph by six-and-a-half lengths, with reserves Supreme Doc and Victrix Gale (5/2 favourite) filling third and fourth spots.
A delighted Philip Fenton explained: "He lost his way completely after taking a heavy fall and we went back on the flat with him, to get his confidence back. We started schooling him again and, once he warned to the job again, everything has come together slowly. He warmed up after jumping a few tonight, although he went left a couple of times.
"He’s always been a classy sort and we had big hopes for him as a young horse. So it’s great to win a good pot with him. He’ll go to Galway now, for the big amateur handicap on the Monday and the plan is to run again in the Galway Blazers on the Friday."
Adopting his customary front-running tactics, Special Tiara (Philip Enright) gave trainer Henry de Bromhead his fourth winner in two weeks when justifying 11/8 favouritism in the opening Follow Kilbeggan On Facebook Maiden Hurdle.
The Kayf Tara gelding beat Tobar Na Gaoise, prompting Enright to state: "He did it nicely — travelled well and jumped brilliantly. He’ll stay two and a half miles and is a real chaser."
Winner of a maiden hurdle on the track last time and having her second run over fences, the Dessie Hughes-trained mare Chase The Favourite proved best in the beginners chase, holding the late surge of Loughnagall by a neck. "She jumped well, but got tired and was lucky to hold on," said Hughes. "She wouldn’t be good enough for a novice, so we’ll see what handicap mark she gets."
In the handicap hurdles action, Mattie Bowes produced the Oliver Brady-trained Imperial Shabra with a determined late challenge along the rail to foil Fairly Definite in the Coola Handicap Hurdle while the latter’s rider, Paul Townend, enjoyed better luck on Excellent As Usual, absent for almost a year, which landed the Ladies Day At Kilbeggan Handicap Hurdle.
Favourite Cheyenne Girl, ridden by in-form Declan Lavery, gave trainer Pat Martin his seventh win in a fortnight when gaining a hard-earned victory in the bumper.
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