Oscar silences rivals with smooth performance

SILENT OSCAR, taking a major drop in class, duly landed the Slievenamon Maiden Hurdle at a miserable Clonmel yesterday.

Absent since taking on Iktitaf and co in the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse in early December, he made light of that with a smooth performance.

Confidently handled by Colman Sweeney, Silent Oscar eased ahead shortly after two out to beat Muttiah by a cosy length and a half.

“He will probably go to Fairyhouse next, but we will see what the handicapper does”, reported trainer, Christy Donoghue.

John Joe Walsh’s Rockspring Hero put up a fine performance to defy top weight in the Lisronagh Handicap Chase. Capably handled by Martin Ferris, Rockspring Hero led at the fourth and made the rest, galloping on relentlessly when the need was greatest.

Commented Walsh: “He’s been placed about 16 times and kept going up, but loved those conditions.”

Over The First proved a costly failure in the three-horse Clonmel Chase, proving no match for Kilbeggan Lad.

The odds-on chance tried to make all and they were tactics which appeared destined to succeed for most of the journey.

The winner, however, quickened up in style when asked by Andrew McNamara and was far too strong from the last for Over The First. The eight-year-old is now likely to head for the sales at Doncaster next month.

When Donie Hassett trains a winner bookmakers often suffer, but not after his 14-1 shot Best All Stars streaked away with the Suir Handicap Hurdle.

He hadn’t been seen for over four months, but that made no difference. Best All Stars made all in the hands of Shay Barry, bounding nine lengths clear of uneasy market leader, The Royal Dub, who was none too good two out when trying to mount a challenge.

“He’s been off for a while with a lung infection and we have just been getting him right”, reported Hassett.

Mouse Morris, still on a high following War Of Attrition’s success in the Cheltenham Gold Cup a week ago, saddled former winning pointer Medianoche to take the first section of the Comeragh Beginners Chase.

The son of Spanish Place, like War Of Attrition, carried the colours of Gigginstown House Stud and was partnered by Conor O’Dwyer.

He jumped brilliantly, led five out and clearly had Lady Kate Ellen’s measure when that one departed at the second last.

“He lost his was way for a while, but seems to be coming back to his best now”, said Morris.

The second division of the same contest went to the Michael Cullen trained Onecoolshuil, the trainer having been on the mark with American Jennie at Limerick on Sunday.

The daughter of Old Vic was travelling much better than Twiststickorbuy, close up in second, when he took a crashing fall at the final fence.

Talented Robbie Moran rode Onecoolshuil, who was returned at 25-1 and paid in excess of 46-1 on the Tote.

The stewards interviewed John Allen concerning his riding of Blue Corrig in this race, resulting in the horse taking a heavy fall at the last. They concluded he had ridden improperly and he was suspended for five racedays.

Eddie Hales’ newcomer My Turn Now powered ahead off the home turn and soon scampered clear to win the Bumper by 12 lengths.

“I didn’t think he’d handle the ground and obviously he’s for sale”, said Hales.

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