Father and son, Jimmy and Paddy Mangan, teamed up to take the most-valuable race, the Graun Hill Suite Beginners’ Chase, on yesterday’s national hunt card on a well-attended inaugural student race-day at Tramore.
In the absence of Miracle Cure, five went to post, but it was an eventful race. Morning support for Leader’s Choice had the filly vying for favouritism with the easy-to-back Double Island, while the on-track money was for Castlewhite.
Double Island appeared to stumble on the flat on the first circuit, and was later pulled up between fences, while the two gambled-on horses were foiled by 6-1 chance Conna Cross, who was brought through with a daring run along the inside to lead after the last.
“I didn’t think ye’d ever again be interviewing me,” said a delighted Mangan, with customary enthusiasm. “The race was made for him, really. There was a grand, handy field and, for his first run over fences, he jumped well.
“You could always see in his hurdle races that he was going to make a chaser. There’s no plan with him, we won’t get too excited - we’ll take small steps with him.”
Mullinavat made it three wins in six outings since joining Henry De Bromhead when recording a facile success in the Waterford & Tramore Racecourse Supporters Club Handicap Hurdle. Bidding to make the most of a favourable hurdle mark, relative to his chase mark, the eight-year-old was sent clear early, and never looked like relinquishing his advantage.
“We decided we’d ride him like the best horse, and that’s exactly what Sean (Flanagan) did,” said De Bromhead. “It was a super ride. The horse is entered again on Saturday at Fairyhouse, but has had a busy summer and we might give it a miss.”
“It was a long time coming,” said trainer Moses McCabe, after The Kings Baby made all the running in the Waterford & Tramore Racecourse Supporters Club Maiden Hurdle. With Donie McInerney’s 7lb claim, the filly was in receipt of weight from her market rivals, and made it count with a no-nonsense display.
“We came here with a bit of confidence,” added McCabe. “And we put Donie up because of his claim. The plan was always to make all, and it worked perfectly.”
Seldom, in recent times, has a Tramore meeting passed without a visit to the winner’s enclosure for James Dullea, and the Bandon trainer was on the mark again when Just Get Cracking ran out a comfortable winner of the Waterford & Tramore Racecourse On Facebook Handicap Hurdle.
Paul Townend gave the 4-1 chance a confident ride, and the seven-year-old, clearly in top form, travelled stylishly before running on strongly to see off favourite Ardera Cross.
“This place has been good to me,” said Dullea, smiling. “The ground was fine for him today, but probably not deep enough for winter horses yet. He’ll mix it over fences and hurdles for the remainder of the season.”
The finish of the day came in the Sponsor A Race At Tramore Racecourse In 2018 Rated Novice Chase, in which Persian Wind, ridden by Luke Dempsey for his father, Philip, dipped his nose at the right time to deny the heavily backed Knockraha King, ridden by the double-seeking Paul Townend, for Adrian Maguire.
“He got a bit of a fright at the first, and nearly threw it away at the last,” said the winning trainer. “He didn’t jump as well today as he can – he’s usually electric. But the horses are in great form.”
Wait Here was an alarming drifter in the betting for the www.tramore-racecourse.com Maiden Hurdle, but the four-year-old belied that uneasiness (13-8 in the morning to 4-1) with an ultimately quite authoritative victory for Austin Leahy, jockey Mark Walsh and owner J P McManus. A faller on his previous start, he was dropped to basement level here, and asserted late.
“He was a bit unlucky at Listowel, where he was definitely going to be placed until falling in what was a good-bit better race,” said Leahy. “The ground was a good bit different than we anticipated today, but he coped with it. We’ll go handicapping with him now.”
As is the case for James Dullea, Tramore is a lucky track for local trainer Shay Barry but he suffered the ups and downs of racing, losing Kalanisi King early in the day, but earning a trip to the winner’s enclosure when On His Toes won the bumper under Laura Hourigan, for whom it was a third winner of the new season.
“That’s racing, unfortunately, isn’t it,” said Barry, lamenting the loss of Kalanisi King. “But I was delighted with that fella (On His Toes). He had a good run the first day, and I shouldn’t have run him at Listowel, because the ground was very heavy. He’s a Presenting and might want a bit of better ground, so we may leave him off now.”
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