Flawless jumping Psycho outclasses rivals

RUBY WALSH and Tony Martin joined forces to land a double with Psycho and Tijuana Dancer at Clonmel yesterday.

Best display of the afternoon came from Psysho, who produced an exhibition of jumping to take the Comeragh Beginners Chase by 11 lengths. All the 6-4 in the morning dried up and he was taken from 11-10 to corresponding odds-on at the track.

Truth to tell, the nine-year-old never gave those brave souls who waded in any cause for concern.

He was always swinging along for Walsh, who allowed him to lead early on the final circuit.

Noble Concorde tried hard to stay with the winner, but was outclassed in the straight and never threatened to get in any sort of blow.

Said Martin: “He’s a pure natural, I’ve never had one like him, he was very good. It is a pity we didn’t put him over fences earlier.

“There’s no reason now why he shouldn’t run in the Powers’ Gold Cup (Fairyhouse). A lot of the good horses will be missing from that race, having gone to Cheltenham.”

The hitherto disappointing Tijuana Dancer found his level in the Slievenamon Maiden Hurdle, scoring with lots to spare. Taken to the front off the home turn by Walsh, he eased clear to beat Happy Milly by three lengths.

Martin said: “He’s no star, but was entitled to do that, it was a weak race. We’ll look for a winners’ of one, or a little handicap.”

The John Murphy-trained Whatsabillion ran away with the Margaret’s 50th Celebration Handicap Chase, in the hands of Eddie Power.

It was a decent effort, considering Whatsabillion made a bad mistake six out when making the long surge for the judge.

It took nothing out of him, however, and he streaked home eight lengths to the good over Old Shyan.

“He’s been second here a couple of times and has been in great form since”, reported Murphy. “He will probably go for another handicap chase.”

Tim Doyle enjoyed his first success since October when Mazara took the Powerstown Maiden Hurdle. Given an enterprising drive by Andrew McNamara, the five-year-old raced near the front throughout, kicking hard early in the straight.

There were plenty of dangers at this stage, but in the end the winner, despite stepping into the final flight, had enough in reserve to resist the late surge of Pozyc.

Commented Doyle: “He’s consistent and progressive. This is fine big horse and there might be a bit more to come.

“The direction we will take is the handicap route and he could go back to the flat as well somewhere.”

Another Doyle, this time Tom and no relation, also enjoyed a welcome turn when guiding top weight All The Eights to take the Suir Handicap Hurdle.

Well-backed favourite Shorecliffe King jumped the last in front, but was worried out of it near the line and beaten a neck.

All The Eights is trained in Kilkenny by Pat Cody, who remarked: “The ground is the key to him, he wants even better ground.”

The brothers, Ian and James Hannon from Tallow, Co Waterford, combined to win the Clonmel Mares Beginners Chase with Kind Oscar.

Partnered by James, she ran the opposition ragged to score unextended by 20 lengths, giving her pilot his second on the track, to go with 25 in point-to-points.

Said Ian: “I am absolutely delighted. We will keep her going for the time being and then she will be covered by Witness Box.”

Headford Flyer dug deep for Michael Fogarty driving to repel the persistent challenge of Bruach Na Mara in the Bumper and then, predictably, survived a stewards’ inquiry.

Trainer, Eoghan O’Grady, said: “That’s a relief, this was his last go at a bumper. He will head for a winners’ race at Punchestown next and then jump hurdles after May 1.”

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