Ground no problem as Dariak storms to victory

DARIAK, absent since finishing fourth behind Indian Pace in the Galway Hurdle, stormed away with the Brandon Hotel Handicap Hurdle at Tralee yesterday.

David Flannery allowed the grey to hit the front over the third last and Tom Foley’s charge never flinched in the straight to beat Salt Lake an easy two lengths.

“We were a little bit worried about the ground and would have preferred it better”, reported winning trainer, Tom Foley.

“He will probably go to Punchestown now in two weeks time. He has schooled over fences and is a good jumper, so that’s an option when tiring of hurdles.”

John Joe Walsh’s Jackieandy, who would have to be regarded as a moderate handicapper prior to this, took the DNG W.H Giles Auctioneers’ Maiden Hurdle, staying on dourly for Kevin Coleman to grab market-leader, Beneath The Radar, at the final flight.

“He kept getting balloted out of handicaps, that’s why I ran him here. He was unlucky the last day at Ballinrobe, being left at the start, and is a nice horse, who should make a chaser”, said Walsh.

“That’s a badly needed tonic,” exclaimed Limerick handler, Gillian Lee, after Somalia Road had sprung a 16-1 shock in the Ballybeggan Racegoers’ Club EBF Novice Hurdle.

Always on the pace, the six-year-old found loads for Philip Enright pressure to outstay Sherney and favourite, Garrai Ard, from the final flight.

Enright was an able substitute for Andrew McNamara, who missed the meeting, still feeling sore, following a fall at Clonmel on Sunday.

“This is a very in-and-out horse, who takes a bit of knowing”, reported a clearly delighted Lee.

The stewards received a report from starter, Joe Banahan, that Andrew Lynch on Capall Eile and Enright disobeyed his instructions and rushed the tape before being told to do so.

They decided Enright had instigated the incident and suspended him for two days. Lynch was severely cautioned.

Dessie Hughes’ Old Si, a winner twice over flights last season, made a fine start over fences in the Joseph J Grace Memorial Beginners Chase.

He jumped brilliantly for Roger Loughran and was always travelling sweetly and well within himself.

Loughran let him lead six from home and didn’t have to be unduly hard on the Saddler’s Hall gelding to hold More Sport by half a length.

“That was a good introduction, he looks a natural”, commented very much in-form Hughes.

Skidroe Joe and Conker Nails emerged as the principals heading to the home turn in the Ladbrokes’ Handicap Hurdle and it was the former who was much the stronger from the last.

Trained by Donie Hassett, Skidroe Joe gave rider, Gerry Mangan, his first success on the track. Mangan, from Knocknagoshel, Co Kerry, celebrates his 24th birthday today.

Rory’s Sister produced a splendid exhibition of jumping on the way to landing the Sherry Fitzgerald Stephenson Crean Handicap Chase by 12 lengths.

The capable Denis Hogan eased her ahead early on the final circuit and it was bar a fall from a fair way out for Charlie Swan’s mare.

The Tom Nagle-trained The Bishop Looney battled on doggedly to take the Imperial Hotel Bumper.

He got a dream run up the far rail for Ross O’Sullivan to wear down fellow 4-1 joint favourite, Bangonform.

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