Long trek worthwhile for Smyth

TYRONE trainer Lee Smyth, who only took out a licence on March 1, enjoyed his first success when Tipper Road won the September Handicap at Clonmel last night.

Smyth brought his charge on the five and a half hours journey south, but reasoned that it had been well worth the effort.

“I have just four horses in training and this was my seventh runner”, said the 26-year-old, who learned his trade with Jim Bolger.

“I spent four years with Jim and would describe it as very informative. He is an absolute legend as a teacher and I would recommend anyone interested in the sport to go there, if they could.”

Davy Moran partnered Tipper Road and his tactics were particularly enterprising. He kicked hard off the home turn and the seven-year-old grabbed a decisive advantage which Havetoavit never threatened to bridge.

Apt Son, also ridden by Moran, gave Frank Ennis a welcome turn in the Rathronan Maiden and then survived a stewards’ inquiry, after beating well-backed favourite, Silverhand.

Apt Son hung to the right when launching his challenge well over a furlong down and Silverhand was done no favours.

But Silverhand was struggling to get in a real blow anyway and the stewards were never going to change the result.

Commented Ennis: “He came on plenty for his last run at Cork. He will probably go for a little handicap now and jump a hurdle later on.”

Mutakarrim, the oldest horse in the race at eleven, landed the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Claiming Race for Dermot Weld and Shane Gorey.

He made most of the running, but the game appeared to be up as Power Elite cantered all over him in the straight.

Power Elite, not for the first time, only flattered to deceive, however, and was outbattled by Weld’s veteran in the closing stages, the verdict a head.

Both Incline (€12,300), who finished a never dangerous fifth, and Power Elite (€10,151) were claimed.

Another veteran of the game, Pat Shanahan, didn’t half give top weight, The Tartan Army, a drive to land the Demense Handicap.

The Galileo gelding came from miles back to beat Western Winner, who arrived from way off the pace as well, by half a length.

The Tartan Army got a dream run up the far rail and that was the difference in the end, notwithstanding that he was momentarily prevented from seeing daylight about a hundred yards out.

Trainer, Tracey Collins, said: “He’s not the easiest horse and Pat gave him a peach of a ride.”

Paul Carberry rode a whirlwind finish to land market-leader, Eoin Griffin’s South Wing, a narrow winner over Root Cause and trail-blazing Salesin in the Comeragh Maiden Hurdle.

“He gave himself a nasty nick underneath his fetlock at Limerick and that’s why you haven’t seen him for a while”, reported Griffin.

“He wants better ground than that, but I don’t know if he’ll ever get it! He could go for the Lartigue Hurdle at Listowel.”

The Mullins brothers had the first four home in the Bumper, Tony winning with newcomer, Soft Spoken Guy, Tom saddling the second and third, Boro Bee and Shan’t Complain respectively and Willie the fourth, hot-pot Persian City.

“That’s a bit of a surprise”, exclaimed Tony. “He’s been working nicely, but hadn’t done much. Maybe, he will now go for a winners’ bumper at Listowel.”

Like The Da passed the post first in the Clonmel Handicap Hurdle and then survived a stewards’ inquiry.

The winner hung badly to his right close home, banging into the second, Dallool. There was only a short head between them and a reversal in the placings looked more than a possibility.

But because the interference took place literally on the line, the stewards allowed the result to stand.

Tommy Treacy, who partnered Like The Da, was found guilty of careless riding and suspended for four days.

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