Irish team consolidate lead in Oz

KEVIN COLEMAN and Niki O'Shea made it another Irish one-two in the Australia v Ireland Hurdle at Melbourne track Sandown yesterday.

Coleman got 2.6/1 second favourite Dot Com home by a half length from O'Shea on the even money chance Mount Kosciusko. Niall Madden finished fifth and Brian Byrnes, on a rank outsider, trailed in last.

Coleman, from Innishannon, Co Cork, was thrilled to get his first win in Australia after his brush with the Stewards in Werribee the previous day. “I think they're picking on me”, he suggested with a smile, after being questioned about an incident close to the line when he appeared to lean over on O'Shea, however, no action was taken.

On a wet day with the track riding soft, the visitors certainly consolidated their points position and now lead the series 75 to 52 with just Moonee Valley on Saturday as the climax. With only seven runners in the chase there, Niki O'Shea, with two winners already on the tour, misses out but Kevin Coleman rides likely favourite Iggy for yesterday's successful trainer Eric Musgrove. It now appears that the Irish team cannot be beaten and will rack up their sixth consecutive success in the series.

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