Farmer Brown lands gamble in style

TRAINER, Pat Hughes, lashed out at an on-course bookmaker after his newcomer, Farmer Brown, had landed a gamble in the Kevin McManus Champion Bumper at Limerick yesterday.

The Bob Back gelding was backed from 10-1 to 11-2 and did his job in style for the talented Niall Madden.

“I asked one of them for €7,000 to €1,000”, reported Hughes.

“He told me he had already laid it, so then I asked him if he was a bookmaker or a bollox? Anyway, I went away and backed it after that at 8-1.”

Farmer Brown was always travelling sweetly, easing ahead over a furlong down to beat Wild Ocean and Gotno Destination.

“He has been showing he was a good horse for a long time at home”, admitted Hughes.

Ruby Walsh guided Scarthy Lad to a smooth success in the Hugh McMahon Memorial Novice Chase.

Thomas O’Leary’s charge had lost his way somewhat of late, but Walsh, Hedgehunter-style, got him beautifully settled.

He gradually worked Scarthy Lad into the contest in the final mile and was galloping all over trail-blazing Lincam approaching the second last.

Lincam made a dreadful mistake and that ended any lingering doubts about the outcome, as Scarthy Lad powered clear to score by 20 lengths.

“This horse pulls so hard it had to be a case of out the back today”, commented O’Leary.

“He’s getting sense and will now go to Punchestown for a three miles and a furlong handicap. Ruby says he’ll ride him if he can.”

Pat Verling’s good servant, Berkley, stayed on doggedly to take the Horwarth Bastow Charleton Handicap Chase in the hands of Conor O’Dwyer.

O’Dwyer sent Berkley to the front going to two out to beat top weight Captain Moonlight.

“He’s a genuine horse and will have another one or two runs before being let off”, said Verling.

“If the ground is safe he will go to Punchestown, Conor suited him, it was two married men going round!”

The layers began their day with a delightful result when 33-1 shot Stakhanovite easily took the Twilight Barbeque Evening Maiden.

The son of Darshaan was produced by Robbie Burke to ease past Shannon Arms inside the furlong pole to score unextended by three lengths.

The winner is one of eight horses trained on the Curragh by James Leavy, who had just two successes on the level last season.

Said Leavy: “He is a full-brother to Mark Of Esteem and was bought for me by Bobby Ryan at Newmarket. He will be a better horse on better ground.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Bywayofthestars, backed from 6-4 to 9-10, never promised to take a hand at any stage.

Tommy Stack and Wayne Lordan, fresh from a double on the opening day of the flat season at the Curragh, combined to take the Greenmount Handciap with Kerry Way.

It was a gutsy display from the Dolphin Street gelding, who had the steadier of 9-6 to carry. Lordan drove him into the lead well over a furlong down to beat Flashy Beau.

Packie Tam, a promising fourth behind Georgina on his seasonal debut at Thurles and a Ger Lyons trained stable companion of Flashy Beau, made no mistake in the handicap.

Strongly handled by Robbie Colgan, Packie Tam made every yard of the running to beat Aldocos a comfortable length and a half.

Paul Nolan’s Lakil Princess also made all to land the Roches’ Feeds Mares Maiden Hurdle.

“She’s not a bad little mare and will now mix it between flat and hurdles”, said Nolan.

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