Bus breaks down, but Spanish Blue keeps going for Stand Syndicate

THERE was probably a fair bit of excitement in a betting office in Clonmel last night, as the Tom Hogan-trained Spanish Blue won the first division of the Ryans’ Event Cleaners Handicap at Limerick.

The 14-1 shot is owned by the Stand Syndicate and Hogan explained: “They hired a bus to come from Waterford to here, but it broke down in Clonmel. They are all in a betting office.”

Fran Berry gave the four-year-old a storming drive, powering him ahead in the closing stages to score by three and a half lengths.

“This horse is bone lazy”, said Hogan. “He almost pulled himself up at Wexford and David Casey suggested I fit a tongue-tie.

“It certainly helped. I told Fran to keep slapping and pushing him all the way and that’s what he did.”

Sunshine Guest, successful at Tramore previously, produced a fine display to take the Irish Open and Adare Manor EBF Fillies Handicap.

Given a particularly clever drive by Seamus Heffernan, the in-form mare every yard of the running.

She held a clear advantage for much of the journey, but came back to the field approaching the home turn.

Heffernan, however, had saved plenty and Sunshine Guest lengthened away to beat Baby Blue Eyes by five lengths.

The Ballydoyle pilot is now the clear leader in the jockeys’ championship on 20 winners.

“She’s very consistent and is good when getting things her own way”, commented trainer, Michael Grassick.

“She will race for the rest of the season and then go to stud. I may run her again under a mandatory penalty at Gowran Park on Sunday.”

Pat Flynn’s seasonal debutante, She’s Our Mark, came late and fast to take the ladbrokes.com EBF Maiden in the hands of Danny Grant.

“I thought she’d go well, but would need the run”, reported Flynn.

“She’s a nice filly and will step up to winners’ company now.”

Kevin Prendergast’s Regalline again proved disappointing, after being backed from 3-1 to 2-1 favourite.

Hopes that dropping down in distance would prove the answer were dashed and she found nothing for pressure when asked to go in pursuit of the principals.

Indiana Gal redeemed the promise of her recent run at Cork when getting the best of a tough tussle with Lime Tree Valley in the Clohessys’ Bar EBF Auction Maiden.

Partnered by Padraig Beggy, she found plenty in the closing stages to beat her rival a neck.

Trainer, Par Martin, said: “She’s very big and should go on from here. The handicapper shouldn’t be too hard on her!”

Restricted trainer Mark Molloy enjoyed a turn when The Paddy Premium streaked away with the Bank Of Ireland Handicap Hurdle.

Set alight by Davy Russell a fair way out, The Paddy Premium crossed the line an easy five lengths to the good.

“We will find another little handicap for him, he deserved that, it will give him confidence”, remarked Molloy.

The tough Charlie’s First justified favouritism in the Dolans’ Warehouse Hurdle, under a powerful Barry Geraghty drive.

Geraghty sent the Punchestown Festival winner ahead just before two out and kept him going to beat outsider, Pagan Magic.

Mags Mullins’ I Hear A Symphony, slightly disappointing at the Curragh previously, proved far too good for market-leader, Taipan’s Way, in the Bumper.

Given an enterprising ride by Paul Cashman, the winner kicked on over five furlongs out and the late surge of Taipan’s Way, who lost his place at a vital stage, was never a worry. Doncaster sales now beckon for the five-year-old.

Qasbah, who ran no sort of race at Downpatrick at the weekend, was on song in the second section of the Ryans’ Event Cleaners Handicap.

Brought with a well-timed challenge by Chris Hayes, Qasbah eased past Dance With Destiny a furlong and a half out.

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