Democrat delivers in style

DAVENPORT DEMOCRAT gave Ruby Walsh an armchair ride on his way to success in the Dawn Pure Orange Juice Beginners Chase at the first stage of the Listowel Festival yesterday.

The canny Walsh enjoyed a lead over the first three fences, before allowing the imposing seven-year-old stride on.

The winner proceeded to turn in an exhibition of jumping and only principal market rival, Dr Julian, was able to keep tabs on him from four out.

But Dr Julian came under strong pressure early in the straight and was some five lengths down, and making little progress, when crashing out at the second last.

For Davenport Democrat it was a first victory over jumps, having previously taken two bumpers at Tipperary and Fairyhouse.

Commented Walsh: “He has always threatened to be something, but has failed to deliver.

“I am delighted for the owners (P M Racing Syndicate), they have been very unlucky with horses in the past. He has a future at this game, but must have good ground.”

Ballyhoctor, the only horse in the care of Vincent Slevin at Borrisokane, Co Tipperary, took the Kerry Spring Water Hurdle.

Given a lovely drive by Davy Russell, Ballyhoctor quickened in style to master Young Elodie going to the last.

Master Ofthe Chase was soon in hot pursuit, but Russell had saved enough and Ballyhoctor was a head in front at the line.

“The ground will dictate where he goes next, he has to have it good”, said Slevin. “If it stays as it it then he will head to Tipperary for Super Sunday and a novice hurdle.”

Young Elodie was a costly failure, finding 5-4 from 7-4, but found precious little when asked to go about her business by Ruby Walsh.

Merry Star, runner-up behind the useful Sorry Al at Galway, redeemed the promise of that effort when taking the Kerry Maid Maiden Hurdle.

Produced with impeccable timing by in-form Andrew McNamara, the mare swept ahead between the final two flights to beat long-time leader, Sans Souci Boy. “She wants good ground and it will probably be going against her from now on”, reported trainer, Danny O'Connell.

“If that is the case we will leave her off and come back over fences next summer.”

McNamara was again seen to advantage when giving Look Between Us a fine ride to land the Dawn Milk Handicap Chase.

He made his move coming away from the third last and Look Between Us, this was a sixth success, soon scampered away to easily beat Mon Oiseau.

“He's been a great servant”, said delighted handler, Louis Archdeacon.

“The plan was to have him in the firing line more and it worked. He's had a busy summer, but could go to Cork next month for a 0-140.”

A terrific couple of hours for the McNamara family was completed when impressive newcomer, Glenquin Castle, took the Bumper.

In front with over a furlong to go, Glenquin Castle found plenty to repel hot-pot Indican Hills with a degree of ease.

The five-year-old is trained by Andrew McNamara senior and was well handled by another of his sons, Robbie, who turned 17 a week ago. It was a first on the track for the youngster.

Said the senior McNamara: “He's a good horse, I fancied him no end. I bought him for 14,000 guineas at the Derby sale, he has a fine pedigree and is out of a half-sister to Keen Leader.”

Conor O'Dwyer earned his fee when guiding market-leader Baikal to victory in the Dawn Omega Milk Handicap Hurdle.

Baikal appeared to be struggling early in the straight, as Baffert made the best of his way home.

But O'Dwyer conjured an excellent response from his blinkered partner and Baikal powered past half way up the run in to beat the fast-finishing House Of Blues.

Barry Geraghty rode a strong finish to win the Low Low EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle on the 12-1 shot Meet The Family.

Amisina, who weaved about a bit on the approach to the last, was in front at the obstacle, but Frank Lacy's charge grabbed her in the dying strides.

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