Mouse Morris’ Rathlin sprang a 16-1 shock when turning over hot-pot Unika La Reconce in the Munster Hurdle at Clonmel yesterday.
Rathlin had been performing badly over fences of late and it was difficult enough to see him playing a part here.
The favourite cruised into the lead early in the straight and headed for the final flight with a good three lengths lead over the winner.
But Unika La Reconce got in tight to the obstacle and, suddenly, Ruby Walsh had to go for everything.
The damage, though was done and Bryan Cooper seized his chance to drive Rathlin past and score by three parts of a length.
Commented Morris: “He had lost his way and that’s why I gave him a run over hurdles. He will probably go back over fences now.’’
The disappointment of the contest was Mags Mullins’ Anonis. He set off in front, but blundered six out and was soon pulled up. Anonis was found to be slightly lame afterwards.
Dessie Hughes’ Canaly dug deep to finally grab the Powerstown Chase from trail- blazing Belle Brook, completing a double for Cooper.
Canaly certainly didn’t look the most likely winner for most of the journey, but found plenty for pressure to wear down Belle Brook on the line and score by a short head.
“He’s going the right way, but two and a half miles is his trip’’, said Hughes.
The Terence O’Brien-trained Carhue landed a little touch in the Clonmel Maiden Hurdle, taken from 10-1 to 6’s.
Partnered by Paul Townend, he arrived to challenge the flattering Security Breach going to the last and quickened away on the flat to score by a length and a quarter.
“We’ve always thought a bit of him, but he’s been disappointing’’, reported O’Brien.
“Noel O’Brien (handicapper) gave him a rating of 109 and had me scratching my head, but he wasn’t too far out. Chasing will be his game.’’
Carhue is owned by the three-member Barryscourt Syndicate.
O’Brien then landed his first ever double, it came to 62-1, when Viaduct Joey, also ridden by Townend, took the Bishop Auckland Theatre Hooligans Novice Handicap Chase.
Given a terrific drive, he found plenty from the last to beat Mazuri Cowboy and Clashnabrook.
“He had a chance on his hurdles form, but got stomach ulcers, fell apart and didn’t want to know’’, said O’Brien.
“We’ve nursed him back and the plan now is a novice handicap chase at Navan in about a month’s time.’’ Viaduct Joey is owned by Sean and Carmel Ryan from Newcestown, Co Cork.
Jane Mangan gave further evidence of her growing status within the game when powering Blazing Sonnet to success in the Demesne Maiden Hurdle.
Willie Austin’s charge went off favourite and had a real battle with the well-backed Angelas Money in the straight.
Angelas Money, however, was inclined to hang and jink, her rider Davy Russell had no irons in the closing stages, and Blazing Sonnet was a hard-earned half a length to the good at the line.
Austin, who was loud in his praise of Mangan, said: “I don’t know what will be next, maybe she will go back handicapping.’’
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