Celestial swoops to conquer in dramatic fashion

CELESTIAL LIGHT, backed from some 6-4 to 9-10, landed the wagers with an extraordinary final flourish in the Graun Hill Mares Maiden Hurdle at Tramore yesterday.

If you were offered 100-1 about her heading to the third last you would have replied in the negative, as she struggled in a remote eighth place.

Two from home it was Bluebell Line who held the call over Allaboveboard. Suddenly, however, Paddy Flood was getting some sort of response from the mare and she moved into third, still a long, long way adrift.

By now, though, she was beginning to devour the ground, as the pair in front began to run up and down in the one spot. Celestial Light was a close third at the last and then sprinted clear on the level to beat Bluebell Line by four lengths. Amazing!

For Flood it was a sixth success and he said: “At no stage did I think I was going to win. She didn’t want to know when in the middle of the bunch and only raced when she saw light.”

Andrew Lee’s Exile, owned by the East Cork-based Walk and Talk Syndicate, produced a determined display to take the Metal Man Novice Hurdle. The winner hit the front twice, heading out for the final time and again going down into the dip before the straight.

Lorenzetti was soon challenging, but Exile, despite erring at the last, was much the stronger on the flat.

Commented Lee: “He’s a game little horse, I thought I might be doing the wrong thing running him four times in the space of a month.”

Sixtino, who landed a tasty morning price gamble at Thurles previously, was on the mark again in the Pickardstown Handicap Hurdle.

He was a big order here as well, finding 4-6 from evens. The capable Andrew Leigh eased him to the front at the second last and Sixtino soon stretched away to beat Mason’s Arch cosily.

“He’s tough and, if alright, will go to Thurles next Tuesday”, reported Cully. For Leigh it was a fourth victory, three of them having come for Cully.

The layers were on the ropes as well following the Guillamene Maiden Hurdle when Snapper Creek, 6-4, 3-1, 9-4, duly did the business.

He made every yard of the running, in the hands of Gary Hutchinson, but was chased hard by quietly supported ex-pointer Supreme Madam heading to two out.

Supreme Madam was still only about half a length down at the final flight, but stumbled at the back of the obstacle and Snapper Creek soon eased away.

Tom Hogan’s Best Away was the fifth winning market leader of the day when landing the Waterford and Tramore Directors’ Ladies Bumper.

Well handled by Luisa Williams, Best Away came from behind to lead on the uphill run to the straight and beat the always prominent Senor Rossi.

Runaway Jake, partnered with a confidence by Tommy Treacy, proved too good for market leader, Give Me Style, in the Newtown Handicap Chase.

The winner, pulled up at Down Royal on St Stephen’s Day, was allowed stride on heading out into the country for the last time.

Despite getting low at a couple of his fences, Philip Rothwell’s charge was always getting the best of the battle over the last two.

Intercounty, whose only previous win was in a handicap hurdle on this track, doubled the total in the Beginners Chase. Trained by Aoife Kent and ridden by Larry Hurley, Intercounty made all the running and was well clear when surviving a bad blunder at the final fence.

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