Ansar found to have infection after trailing in last

DUAL Galway Plate winner Ansar trailed in sixth and last in the Hurdle at Killarney yesterday.

“He's come back a bit sore”, reported trainer, Dermot Weld. “We are going to have him checked out and scoped as well.”

Later, Weld revealed: “He's not lame, but has an upper respiratory tract infection, that's a very heavy head cold.

“He blew far too heavy afterwards. Ansar was routinely scoped two days ago and was perfect. He will have to go on antibiotics and the Kerry National will probably come too soon. We may look at the Breeders' Cup Chase at Far Hills in New Jersey.”

Said rider, Ruby Walsh, rather ruefully: “He was beaten a long way out.”

Ansar ran near the front for most of the journey, but Walsh was right down in the drive position coming away from the fourth last. There was no response and the ten-year-old went rapidly backwards.

In contrast that mighty veteran Adamant Approach, now a 12-year-old, travelled like a dream throughout for his capable pilot, Richie Kiely.

He cruised ahead before the third last and crossed the line a dozen lengths to the good over Glentorpe.

“He felt more like a six-year-old today”, said Kiely, who has now ridden 13 winners in total.

Robbie McNamara has made a big impression since starting to ride for Weld in recent weeks and he was seen to great advantage aboard the trainer's Stolen Light in the Murphy and Maloney Developers' Novice Hurdle.

McNamara popped away in front and kept Stolen Light together in fine style in the straight, as Holly Tree tried to close.

Said Weld: “I thought he was very unlucky not to win at Downpatrick the last day, he was badly hampered.

“I told Robbie to make all. He has a lot to learn, but is a very intelligent rider and I forecast will be champion amateur within two years.”

Weld completed a double when Ruby Walsh conjured a magical display on the enigmatic Lowlander in the Fexco Asset Finance Handicap Chase.

The seven-year-old was delivered from well off the pace to grab the lead just after the final fence and beat Light On The Broom.

“That was brilliant, a typical Ruby Walsh ride”, said a delighted Weld.

Eugene O'Sullivan's Head Waiter made an solid start over flights when producing an excellent round of jumping in the Niall Brosnan and Co Solicitors' three-year-old Hurdle.

Capably handled by 19-years-old Richard McLernon, enjoying a third success, Head Waiter led four out and galloped relentlessly up the straight to beat uneasy favourite, Miss Mason, by five lengths.

“We bought him at Newmarket with the intention of going hurdling”, said O'Sullivan. “He schooled brilliantly at home, but you always wonder how they are going to react on the racecourse.”

There is no winners hurdle for juveniles at Listowel, so the Lend A Hand gelding will revert to the flat at that meeting.

Tallow, Co Waterford handler, Philip Gould, enjoyed his second success when Fivestar Alstars landed the AIB Killarney Handicap Hurdle.

The winner and long-absent Dostoivesky emerged as the principals two from home, but Fivestar Alstars was soon on top.

Gould has just three horses for the racecourse, but also has six pointers in his care. He's held a licence since January of last year.

Le Leopard proved a disappointing favourite. He never appeared particularly happy, jumping to his right and was beaten a fair way out. It transpired subsequently he had been struck into.

David Casey showed real patience with Kadiskar in the Torc Travel Beginners Chase, delaying his effort until the second last and Christy Roche's gelding quickly asserted his authority over the flattering Rights Of Man.

Niki O'Shea took a fall from Wishwillow Lord five out and was removed to Cork University Hospital fully conscious, but for further investigation on a possible neck injury.

The Joe Crowley-trained newcomer Acorn Lodge proved too strong for Ri Na Deise in the Bumper, scoring by a length.

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