Compliance in complete control

IN COMPLIANCE, having his first run since December of 2007, made a stunning return in the Thurles Chase at Thurles yesterday.

He used to be trained by Michael O’Brien, currently not in the best of health, and is now in the care of Dessie Hughes.

A strong order morning-prices and on track, In Compliance toyed with form horse, Chelsea Harbour, to win unextended by seven lengths.

He was pulling double over his rivals at all stages and led seven out and again at the third last, in the hands of Paddy Flood. Chelsea Harbour tried to close him down in the straight, but his task was a hopeless one.

“He will probably run in the Durkan (Punchestown)”, remarked Hughes. “I have him about three months, he came to me after Galway.

“He’s an exceptional horse and I thought was fit enough. He gets further, but two and a half is his best trip.”

Talking of Michael O’Brien, who is now retiring, he had his last runners at Thurles and Leopardstown and one of them, Essex, finished third in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.

He never really threatened to deliver with victory going to Whatuthink, who made all the running to beat Bob Lingo.

It was a fine performance by Oliver McKiernan’s charge, considering two miles looked to be all too short for him.

“He jumped much better, he was very careful here the last day”, said McKiernan. “He’s in the Drinmore (Fairyhouse), so we’ll see how it goes.”

Zaarito held every chance, but appeared held, when falling at the second last. Matt O’Connor, not long back from a serious long-term head injury, was in the plate and was removed to hospital with a suspected fracture of his left collarbone.

Eric McNamara enjoyed a welcome turn when The Wifes Pet ran away with the Templemore Mares Maiden Hurdle giving rider, Robert Jones, his second success.

Jones was certainly seen to advantage, getting a dream run through on the inside to lead off the home turn and The Wifes Pet then went right away to score by ten lengths.

“The trainer was getting it wrong, she wants two miles, rather than two and a half ”, commented McNamara.

“She got a super ride from Robert, who has been with us for a while and will get his chance and, hopefully, take it.”

John Cullen gave Quietly Fancied a patient drive to land the opening Cashel Maiden Hurdle, initiating a double for Oliver McKiernan.

Cullen gradually worked the Presenting gelding into the contest, easing him ahead heading to two out to score going away by five lengths.

“I’m delighted with that, he’s a hard horse to settle, but was working well at home”, reported McKiernan. “He’s had leg trouble and we will look for a winners’ of one now”.

Trixie, a 16-1 shot, battled on strongly to take the Holycross Handicap Hurdle for John Joe Walsh and Eddie Power.

The daughter of Windsor Castle was a first winner for the West-Cork based three-man Ceol Na Mara Syndicate.

Power committed Trixie a long way from home, but she kept pulling it out on the flat to hold market-leader The Dew At Night by a head. “That’s a surprise, I thought she wouldn’t go on the ground”, said Walsh.

Paul Cashman gave The Kings Sword a terrific drive to win the Bumper. He got the fractions spot-on in front and kept just enough in reserve to repel Nina Carberry and Spill The Beans by a short head. Cashman, however, was severely cautioned regarding his use of the whip.

Trainer, Kieran Purcell, said: “He was entitled to win that, having run his heart out in a couple of races. This is a smashing horse, who is a real chaser in the making.”

Rakamasi, partnered by Luke McNiff, battled on dourly to beat the flattering Spring The Que in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase.

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