Ballivor survives stewards' scrutiny

Ballivor (16-1) graced the winner's enclosure for the first time in 14 months after taking the Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Handicap at the Curragh this afternoon for his third course and distance victory.

But the seven-year-old, ridden by Padraig Beggy, had to survive a stewards’ inquiry before his half-length win over If Per Chance was confirmed.

“The ground made all the difference and he was fitter today too. This place and the wet ground suits him but he’s had his problems,” said trainer Bill Farrell.

Meanwhile Bewitched staged a late flourish to snatch the Michael Kinane Renaissance Stakes to give Johnny Murtagh a double.

Croisultan looked like landing the spoils when seeing off the valiant Snaefell, but Murtagh managed to get the Charles O’Brien-trained filly in the clear.

The 3-1 shot quickened nicely to score by a neck from Croisultan with Snaefell third.

“She appreciates cut in the ground. She’s a high-class filly and she has beaten Swiss Diva, that good one of David Elsworth’s,” said Murtagh.

“She wasn’t at the end of her tether today. She won quite snug. She does just enough and hopefully Charles will get another opportunity before the ear is out.

“I think she can mix it with the best in Ireland anyway.”

He added: “It’s great to win this race named after Mick, he was always someone I looked up to and I remember him presenting the champion apprentice title to me years ago – I’d say he’s aged better than me!”

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