Alfa Beat takes Kerry National by storm

Alfa Beat takes Kerry National by storm

Alfa Beat continued his sensational run of form with victory in the Guinness Kerry National at Listowel.

Charles Byrnes’ grey was sent off at 6-1 having won each of his last four starts, with his chase rating rising some 45lb in that period.

Kept wide in search of the better ground by Barry Geraghty, the six-year-old travelled strongly throughout and came to challenge the prominently-ridden Galway Plate hero Finger Onthe Pulse on the turn for home.

The grey began to get on top on the run to final fence and after safely making his way to the other side, he stretched clear on the run-in to score by three and a half lengths.

Favourite Dancing Tornado made a number of mistakes but plugged on at the finish to fill the runner-up spot under Tony McCoy, with Finger Onthe Pulse a creditable third and Swift Counsel fourth.

Byrnes said: ``I'm over the moon. We were unlucky in this race seven years ago when Cloudy Bays had the race won and unseated at the second last.

“We were very disappointed then but this has made up for it.

“We thought the ground might have gone on us this morning. Barry made a brave decision as he said the horse was not travelling well on the ground but when he pulled him out wide, he grabbed hold of the bit again.

“Good ground is a must for this horse. He’s still only a novice and I doubt if there will be a higher-rated novice this side of Christmas.

“My long-term plan for him has always been the four-mile race at Cheltenham.

“He’s a horse that’s very well handicapped over hurdles compared to his chase mark and we may look at something there as well.”

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