Chomba Womba digs deep to land spoils

THE progressive Chomba Womba dug deep to land the Dawn Omega EBF Mares Novice Hurdle at Limerick yesterday.

Fears the two mile trip might prove on the short side for Mags Mullins' mare proved unfounded, after Tommy Treacy had her racing near the front throughout.

Treacy kicked clear coming away from the third last and eventual second, Candy Girl, was a remote ninth at this stage.

Candy Girl still had some ten lengths to make up turning in, but when she joined issue at the last it appeared as if Ruby Walsh had timed his challenge to perfection.

But Chomba Womba was in no mood for defeat and found plenty to go away again and score by a length.

“She's tough and very idle in front, Tommy gave her a smashing ride”, said Mullins. “We will see how she is in the morning, but Fairyhouse and Punchestown could be next.”

The potentially high-class Laetitia made a good start over fences when taking the Grade 3 Bank Of Ireland EBF Mares Novice Chase by 15 lengths. She took a chance or two on the way round, but her jumping was essentially safe.

Market rival Sabina Park tried to make all, but the writing was on the wall once Andrew McNamara moved Laetitia through to stalk the leader approaching the home turn. The winner led two out and soon eased clear.

“She was much better than these over hurdles and just transferred it”, said trainer, Charles Byrnes.

“We hadn't done a whole lot of schooling with her and it was only in the last two weeks the decision was made to go for this.”

The John Fowler-trained La Marianne reaped the reward of consistency with a game display in the Fitzpatricks' Sporting Club Limerick Maiden Hurdle.

Pushed ahead down hill to the straight by Ross Geraghty, she looked beaten when headed two from home by Golden Empire.

But La Marianne fought back, regained the lead on the level and was then always holding Ballycullen Boy.

Fowler indicated a mares' race at Fairyhouse would be next and that the seven-year-old would go chasing next season.

Paul Nolan was full of praise for rider, John Cullen, after he had driven Coljon to victory in the Charleville Cheese Handicap Chase.

This developed into a desperate slog, with Coljon lasting it out best to beat Vicars Way and Giolla An Bhaird.

“John carried that horse home” said Nolan. He had to hit him three belts just to get him going at the start. He’s got a leg and it’s as big as an ESB pole!”

Ruby Walsh enjoyed his first success back on home soil, since his tremendous win on Kauto Star in Friday's Gold Cup, when guiding Tony Martin's Psycho to a smooth win in the Limerick Motor City Hyundai Handicap Hurdle.

Having got his mark over flights, Psysho was then given a few pops in the point-to-point fields and had no trouble taking this once Walsh sent him ahead coming away from two out.

A substantial rise in the weights looms on the horizon for Martin's Dr Massini gelding, one would suspect!

If a possible star of the future was seen at this meeting then it was surely Chestnut Charlie in the Bumper.

Trained in Strabane, Co Tyrone by Lindsay Woods, he scored in a canter, with Robbie McNamara able to sit motionless through the last two furlongs.

Tom Cooper enjoyed a welcome turn when Niall Madden gave Royal Spring a strong drive to take the Mullins Electrical Beginners Chase.

Royal Spring led well before the straight and had no difficulty beating Many Rivers an easy nine lengths.

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