Crusset powers to first flat success

TONY MULLINS’ Crusset, now a five-year-old, enjoyed his first success on the flat when taking the Templemore Maiden at Clonmel yesterday.

Powerfully handled by Seamus Heffernan, Crusset powered past Ciara’s Delight at the furlong pole to score by a length with a rather reluctant looking, not for the first time, Revue in third spot.

“My horse doesn’t lack ability and isn’t dishonest, it’s just that he loves to get a breather two or three furlongs out”, reported Mullins.

“He got that here, running down hill to the straight. He might go to Tramore now on Sunday for a handicap hurdle. I have it in my head as well to school him over fences, with a view to starting off in May.”

David Broad, who has 25 horses in his care at Kilcock, Co Meath saddled his first double.

Lorraine’s Pride completed the brace in the Slievenamon Maiden Hurdle. He got an enterprising drive from Robbie Colgan, shooting away heading to the straight and then keeping going to resist the late rush of Daniels Hymn.

“My horses just weren’t firing, but we had a point-to-point winner as well on Sunday, so it is looking better,” said Broad. “I have a lot of young horses and am looking forward to Fairyhouse and Punchestown and to next season.”

Striking Sound started the ball rolling for Broad in the moderate ten furlongs Mountain Handicap. Tadgh O’Shea sent her on under three furlongs down and she was soon clear to beat the front-running Dusseldorf decisively.

Dermot Weld’s once-raced Humilis showed fine battling qualities to take the EBF Fillies Maiden, under a strong Pat Smullen drive.

The daughter of Sadler’s Wells showed distinct promise at the Curragh on her debut, but was friendless in the market, finding 4-1, 9-2 if you looked, from opening offers of 9-4.

She always had the look of a winner from early in the straight, however. Smullen had her in front shortly after straightening for home and she answered every call to hold the gambled on All’s Forgotten, 11-2 from 7’s.

Said Smullen: “I’m really pleased with her, I liked the way she went to the line. She’s the type to win a nice handicap!”

Gary Hutchinson partnered his first winner for Michael Hourigan when teaming up with Much Birch in the Ardfinnan Handicap ’Chase.

Foxey Dove made a brave attempt from the front and they were tactics which looked destined to succeed for most of the trip.

But Much Birch joined issue at the last and was too strong for Foxey Dove through the final 100 yards. “She will go to Listowel now for something similar,” said Hourigan.

A Killarney handicap beckons for Graineuaile, following her game display to land the Comeragh Mares Beginners ’Chase. Mark Grant sent her ahead between the last two fences to beat Aunt Annie, in front from the third last.

The daughter of Orchestra, trained by Tim Townend, was a first success on the track for Glounthaune, Co Cork owner, Jay Leahy.

John Cullen, sore after two falls earlier on, was stood down for the last, the Nire Novice Hurdle, and he missed a winner, Shanesia. Trainer, Paul Nolan, found an able deputy in Tommy Treacy, who pushed Shanesia to the into the lead off the home turn.

Market leader, Caishill, was soon in hot pursuit, but couldn’t get in a blow at the mare.

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