Smiles all round as Tramore back on track

IT was smiles all round at Tramore last night as the Festival got back on track following a dreadful start on Thursday, when racing had to be abandoned after the third race.

Extensive work went into getting the course right. It was harrowed, sanded and the troublesome bend past the stands was again realigned.

Ruby Walsh, who was critical of the surface the previous day, describing it as "greasy'', was loud in his praise of the ground.

"It's perfect, with loads of grip'', said Walsh, after he had partnered well-backed market leader Kilcarrig House to a hard-earned success in the Kiely Gaule Financial Services Handicap Hurdle.

Beaufort Belle went for glory with a circuit to cover, but Walsh tried to poke up that one's inside heading to the second from home.

Barry Geraghty, however, on Beaufort Belle was having none of that and Walsh had to ease out to challenge.

Kilcarrig House was on terms at the last and then got the better of a rousing battle on the flat

Wicklow handler Prunella Dobbs, who held a permit for a year, but only took out a full licence a month ago, saddled her first winner when Celio ran his rivals ragged in the Mean Fiddler Handicap Chase.

Celio, despite a tendency to jump left, made all the running and had this in safe keeping from the second last, to score by ten lengths for Paul Moloney.

Dobbs, who has six horses in her care, but only two ready to run, exclaimed: "This is some thrill I can tell you.''

Celio carried the colours of the 500-member Jack Of Trumps Racing Club, who were also on the mark at Cork on Monday with Panchita.

Take A Drop, shock winner of a bumper at Cork on Monday night, followed up with a game display to take the WLR FM Maiden Hurdle.

He made most of the running, but was pressed on the approach to the second last by An Fraoch Mor.

Take A Drop was the stronger between the final two flights and clearly had An Fraoch Mor's measure when that one departed the scene two out.

The gelding was capably handled by James O'Farrell, who was having his first spin over flights. The seventeen-year-old enjoyed his initital success on Take A Drop at Cork.

Dermot Weld's Lines Of Battle was a big drifter in the market for the Anglo Irish Bank Maiden, 4-1 to 7's, but he completely outpointed gambled on favourite Any News, 3-1 to 6-4.

The son of Danehill, a chance ride for Pat Cosgrave, in the absence of Fran Berry (ill) made every yard of the running and the late surge of Any News was never a worry.

It was the first time Cosgrave has ridden a winner for the Rosewell House trainer.

Macintosh Man, who performed promisingly behind Panchita at Cork on Monday, redeemed the promise of that effort when winning the Noel Cummins SP Bookmakers' Handicap.

Veteran Dellsboy made a brave attempt from the front, but Paul Scallan drove Macintosh Man ahead entering the final furlong to score going away by three and a half lengths.

Gordon Power rode a whirlwind finish to force Ticker up close home to beat Mirs Style and Park Leader in a three-way drive to the line in the Curran Foods Handicap.

Only a short head and a neck separated the trio and a stewards' inquiry was quickly called, not involving the winner. The outcome saw no alteration to the placings.

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