Duke enhances sales prospects with easy success

TIMMY HYDE’S Like A Duke is heading for the sales ring, following his easy victory in the All Ireland Corporate Games Maiden Hurdle at Limerick yesterday.

Enterprisingly handled by Davy Russell, the winner was sent on with a circuit to cover and galloped on powerfully to beat Trafalgar Day by ten lengths.

“He will make a great chaser some day, but goes to the sales at Doncaster now”, said Hyde.

“I didn’t know if he’d handle the ground, maybe he’s even better on it!”

Tony Martin’s Hegrid proved a very unlucky loser of the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Beginners Chase.

Easy to back in the ring, 5-2 to 100-30, he was set to belie the apparent lack of confidence when disaster struck.

Patiently handled by Ruby Walsh, Hegrid improved to sweep ahead between the final two fences and had the contest in safe keeping when crashing out at the last.

In the process he brought down Go Silver Bullet and this left Salt Lake and Andrew McNamara in for a bloodless success.

Salt Lake’s trainer, Edward O’Grady, said: “He’s a horse who has been a bit unlucky at times and it’s nice he’s got a bit of luck now.

“It’s a good omen for Andrew. He was his first winner for me last season and now he’s his first for me this season.’

Walsh’s tale of woe continued in the Nutec Handicap Hurdle when finishing a short head second on Lucky Slipper behind Klassy.

Lucky Slipper came with a strong late surge and flashing across the line it looked to have succeeded.

The vast majority, including this observer, had no doubt Lucky Slipper had won, but the photo revealed otherwise.

Klassy is trained by Bryan Murphy, better known as the proprietor of the Dunraven Arms in Adare. “I was full sure Ruby had got up”, exclaimed Murphy. “He is a fun horse, who has been very good to us.”

The stewards inquired into two incidents in this contest, one in the straight and the other after passing the winning post, involving Lucky Slipper and Walsh and Strolling Home and Josh Byrne.

The stewards were of the opinion that Walsh had ridden carelessly in the first incident and he was severely cautioned.

In the second incident the stewards decided that Byrne had ridden improperly and he was suspended for five days.

Mark Bolger, surely the best 7lbs claimer in the country, was again seen to advantage when taking the Spinabifida Raceday Maiden Hurdle on Carpenter.

Trained by Jessica Harrington, he stayed on doggedly up the straight to collar the flattering Cloghoge Lady and score by two and a half lengths.

Harrington was represented by her husband, Johnny, who reported: “The horse didn’t jump very well, Mark gave him a fine ride. He didn’t panic, he’s riding very well.”

Dick Lalor’s Could Do, partnered by his daughter Liz, produced a fine performance to defy top weight in the Nutec Handicap Hurdle for qualified riders.

The mare jumpd quite beautifully and was allowed stride on by Ms Lalor over the sixth last. From that point, she simply got stronger and stronger, crossing the line six lengths to the good.

Trainer-Lalor commented: “We may go novice chasing and she will run through the summer, as long as the ground isn’t too firm.”

Philip Dempsey’s Royal Blood was best for money in the Irish Open and Adare Manor Hunters Chase and didn’t disappoint.

He made practically all of the running, digging deep when Goinforporter threatened danger in the straight.

Royal Blood was well handled by 18-year-old Paul O’Brien, who was enjoying his second success on the track and comes from Johnstown, near Naas, Co Kildare.

Dempsey completed his first ever double in the Bumper when Katie Walsh gave newcomer, Sharp River, an excellent drive to beat favourite, Logan’s Manor, after a terrific last furlong tussle.

There were extenuating circumstances in the defeat of Logan’s Manor, however, the bit going through his mouth after about half a mile.

Said Dempsey: “Sharp River is a horse who has shown us plenty from day one. He likes good ground and we may try him on the flat now.”

Kevin Power, who rode Logan’s Manor, was found guilty of using his whip with excessive frequency and suspended for three days.

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