Heavenly result for Walsh

HEAVENLY BLUES, who performed solidly on the flat at Galway, came right back to his best over flights when storming to victory in the featured Kevin McManus Bookmaker Hurdle at Cork yesterday.

Partnered by Ruby Walsh for his father, Ted, the winner gradually warmed to the task, particularly in his jumping, after tracking trail-blazing Strong Project for much of the trip.

Ruby set him alight going to three out and Heavenly Blues found plenty up the long straight to resist the persistent challenge of Bahrain Storm by a length and a half.

Said Walsh senior: “He stays well and was entitled to win on ratings, the handicapper was spot-on.

“I will run him back on the flat now and go for the Cesarerwitch, or something like that.”

Market-leader, Larkwing, proved most disappointing. He was in trouble turning for home, trailing in a well beaten sixth. Eric McNamara’s charge, however, was subsequently found to be lame.

Adajal, who had been struggling for form before scoring at Wexford, continued on the upgrade when defying top weight in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.

Denis Hogan had the ride and was seen to advantage, producing J P McManus’ gelding with impeccable timing to strike the front going to the last.

Trainer, Charlie Swan, reported: “It is amazing what a win can do for a horse’s confidence. He jumps fences well and might go for a chase sooner rather than later.”

David Marnane’s Maal redeemed the promise of his recent second at Roscommon with a clear-cut success in the Fermoy Handicap.

Pushed ahead well over a furlong down by Rory Cleary, the Mozart gelding eased away to score by five lengths.

“He’s a cracking horse, a great fun horse”, said Marnane. “I have nothing planned, we will see what the handicapper does.”

Tipperary handler, Paddy Quinlan, a former International showjumper for Ireland, was on the mark when Gortnahulla won the Goggin and Buckley Maiden Hurdle.

Well fancied Derinlaur tried to make all, but constantly jumped away to his left and had nothing left when Gortnahulla went past after two out.

“She’s a good little mare”, said Quinlan. “We will try and get some black type to make her more valuable for the paddocks.”

Paidrin, fifth behind the smart Again first time up at the Curragh, showed great battling qualities to land the Coolmore One Cool Cat Maiden.

The winner, John Oxx’s well-touted newcomer, Vitruvian Man, and Nafaath had a real battle from the two furllong pole.

But it was Paidrin who responded best to Kevin Manning’s hard driving to beat Vitruvian Man and Nafaath by a head and the same.

The three-horse yard of Ger Kennedy, from Killenaule, Co Tipperary, enjoyed a turn when Musical Review took the Newmarket Handicap.

Superbly handled by Wayne Lordan, the winner made all the running. Lordan kicked early in the straight and runner-up Frazier was never going to close five-year-old down.

Commented Kennedy: “She is very well bred and will be covered next year.”

Frenchman Matthieu Palussiere, who trains ten horses at South Lodge in Tipperary and has held a licence for two years, enjoyed his second success when newcomer, Tramp Stamp, forged ahead a furlong down to win the Bumper in the hands of Ian McCarthy.

The daughter of King’s Theatre wasn’t unfancied, having been backed from 20-1 to 14’s. Said Palussiere: “We knew she had ability and fancied her a bit. She will probably go over hurdles now.”

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