Scarthy Lad promises of better to come with impressive win

CONOR O’DWYER completed a double at Thurles yesterday, enjoying armchair rides aboard Scarthy Lad and Eskimo Jack.

Scarthy Lad, trained at Clonakilty by Thomas O’Leary, landed some big bets in the Clonoulty Maiden Hurdle, hardening from 5-2 to 11-8 favourite.

Owned by the 10-member Ballinascarthy Syndicate, he did the business with the minimum of fuss.

O’Dwyer did a good job anchoring his charge, until allowing him lead over the third last.

From there it was bar a fall, with the winner asked to do just enough to cross the line an unflattering six lengths in front of Mind Over Matter.

O’Dwyer was impressed, commenting: “He couldn’t have done it better and was absolutely running away going to the last.’’

O’Leary has held a licence for two and a half years and has 12 horses in his care.

He said: “This fellow is owned by a brilliant syndicate and will now go to Limerick on St Stephen’s Day.

“He was very free in his bumpers and that’s why I booked Conor. They will be seeing a lot more of each other.’’

Arthur Moore’s Eskimo Jack made a promising debut over fences at Clonmel and built on that with a smooth victory in the EBF Beginners Chase.

He travelled sweetly throughout for O’Dwyer and never touched a twig.

Quadco tried to make all, but the winner cruised up behind him approaching the home turn.

O’Dwyer waited until after the second last before asking for an effort and Eskimo Jack did the rest, easing away to score by nine lengths.

Commented Moore: “He did it well and the bit of experience stood to him. He has a choice now between conditions races and handicaps, round the Christmas period.’’

Market leader Canary Wharf was in second place when falling at the seventh.

Limestone Lad’s stable companion Solerina totally outclassed her rivals to take the INH Stallion Owners’ Novice Hurdle.

Despite some indifferent jumping, she ran a blinder against Pizarro at Navan and her technique was far more satisfactory here.

The daughter of Toulon made all, in the hands of Gary Hutchinson, cruising clear of Colonel Monroe before the straight. She did fiddle the last two flights, but was never in the slightest danger.

Said Michael Bowe: “We might have two runners (Limestone Lad is the other) in the Stayers’ Hurdle yet. I’ve no immediate plans, I don’t make plans.’’

Keith Hadnett, who partnered eventual fifth Larry Hogan, was suspended for a day and ordered to forfeit his fee for dropping his hands in the closing stages.

Eric McNamara’s tough Keepakicker stayed on strongly late to grab the flattering Monbonami in the Templemore Handicap Chase.

Monbonami went on with well over a circuit to go and appeared to have an unassailable lead turning for home.

But as his stride began to shorten, Keepakicker hit top gear and gradually wore down the leader to strike the front in the closing stages.

“He loves this place, it’s the third time he’s won here’’, remarked McNamara. “I hope he will be able to win a couple more of these.’’

McNamara landed an 80-1 double when Periwinkle Lad foiled a morning-price gamble on Arthur Daly in the Munster Handicap Hurdle.

Arthur Daly, returned at 9-2, but backed as high as 16-1 off-course and the medium of one wager of 500 at 12-1 in the Ladbrokes Clonmel office, jumped ahead over the third from home, but could not resist the winner and Paul Carberry after the final flight.

“He was on his last chance’’, remarked McNamara. “He wouldn’t have run again if he didn’t perform respectably, but will go to Limerick at Christmas now.’’

Kevin Prendergast was on the mark with a rare winner over jumps when Master Papa took the Cahir three-year-old Maiden Hurdle.

Stephen John Craine brought him with a perfectly timed challenge between horses to lead on the flat and beat Caishill.

The principals did have a minor collision just before the last and a stewards’ inquiry was called. No alteration to the placings very much the anticipated decision was the verdict. Craine, however, was suspended for one day having been found guilty of careless riding.

Mistletoeandwine forged away in the last hundred yards to beat Lincam, in front over a furlong down, in the Bumper.

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