Gallant Oscar makes it look easy

Gallant Oscar, suspended for 42 days after finishing fourth at Punchestown previously, toyed with the opposition on his way to landing the Slievenamon Beginners Chase at Clonmel yesterday.

A good order through the morning, at a little 7-1 and plenty 6’s, he was strong on the track as well, going off the 3-1 favourite.

At Punchestown his then trainer, Denis Quinn, was fined €2,000 and jockey Roger Loughran suspended for seven days.

On this occasion he arrived in the care of Pat Lynch, based at Newmarket-On Fergus, Co Clare, and was partnered by Mark Enright.

Gallant Oscar jumped brilliantly and was always travelling sweetly, as Dazzlers Day cut out the running.

Enright asked his charge to lead heading to the second last and it was a bar a fall for the market-leader after that.

Commented Lynch: “I only have him since last week, he did his job well. I’d say he’s entitled to head for a winners’ of one, can go out in trip and take on better horses.’’

The lightly raced Speckled Wood shrugged off top weight to land the Carrick-On-Suir Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

Trained by Christy Roche and with just three races under her belt, this was her first venture into such company and she certainly showed all of the right qualities.

Lead Kindly Light, running off a mark way below her chase rating, appeared to have the winner in trouble early in the straight, but she found plenty for Jody McGarvey pressure to power clear from the back of the last.

Frank Berry represented Roche, and owner JP McManus, and said: “She’s a game little thing, loves jumping and handles the ground.’’

Another to defy top weight was Backinthere in the Comeragh Handicap Hurdle. The daughter of Flemensfirth is one of three horses in the care of Eamonn Gallagher at Conna, Co Cork.

Adrian Heskin made his move on the down hill sweep to the home turn and Backinthere never flinched to beat Day Dream Boy by a length and a quarter.

“I wasn’t going to declare her yesterday morning when the ground was yielding’’, revealed Gallagher. “She’s fair tough, wants soft ground and is all about stamina, stamina, stamina.’’

Willie Mullins’ only runner of the day, Turnandgo, was too good for his opponents in the Bumper.

“How did I get that beaten the first day?’’ quipped Patrick Mullins, after he had guided the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding to an unflattering 11 lengths success.

Continued Patrick: “That’s what he has been doing at home, loves soft ground and will make a smashing chaser.’’

John Queally’s Ancient Days, who was proving frustrating to follow, found his level in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Outsider Shaznar appeared to be travelling better than the eventual winner up the straight, but Andrew McNamara got a fine leap from Ancient Days at the last and that was the decisive factor.

“I have no fancy aspirations for him, but he will jump a fence’’, reported Queally.

Liz Doyle had a pre-Cheltenham boost when her Glen Beg cropped up at 33-1 in the Lisronagh Maiden Hurdle.

There was no fluke about it either, as the daughter of Norwich slipped clear early in the straight to win in a canter, despite drifting to her left over the final two flights.

Mouse Morris’ Spot Fine was surprisingly strong in the market, considering that persistent rain had turned the ground completely against him. He performed accordingly.

The capable Shane Butler gave Hidden Crack an excellent drive to take the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase.

Hidden Crack kept finding for the pilot’s urgings and, though, awkward at the last was always holding Mister First.

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