Root Cause gets off the mark in style

ROOT CAUSE, treated to a day out at Laytown previously, got off the mark over jumps when landing the www.tramore-racecourse.com Maiden Hurdle at the Waterford track yesterday.

The Tom Mullins-trained Linamix gelding swept up to challenge at the final flight and quickly asserted over In The Haven.

It was a first ride back for Robert Power, absent since taking a fall at Navan on September 27.

Said Mullins: “He will probably go for a handicap at a small track, as long as the handicapper isn’t too hard on him.”

Eoin Griffin’s Weybridge Light redeemed the promise of a couple of recent efforts when easily taking the Sponsor A Race At Tramore Handicap.

He shot away off the home turn for Seamus Heffernan, easing four lengths clear of Sparring Partner.

“We will give him one more run and, hopefully, he might pick up a 50-70 handicap at Dundalk. He should make a summer hurdle horse next year.”

Fran Berry joined Johnny Murtagh at the top of the jockeys’ championship with an armchair ride on Ebalista in the Guillamene Maiden.

The daughter of Selkirk was returning from a long break, but stripped fit and well to justify favouritism.

She tracked the leaders, until pushed ahead approaching the home turn to quicken clear of Forest Minx.

Berry and Murtagh have 73 winners to their credit, just one in front of the current champion, Pat Smullen.

Thomond O’Mara, absent at the sales in Newmarket, missed seeing his Bincas Beauty win the Lissselan Ladies Bumper.

Nina Carberry on To The Left and Adrienne Foley on Carrolls Cross set a strong pace, but neither had anything left once Pauline Ryan eased the winner past over four furlongs out.

O’Mara was represented by his wife, Roisin, who reported: “The good gallop suited and she will now go hurdling.”

Michelle Gannon, whose main business is pre-training horses at Johnstown, Co Kilkenny, enjoyed her second success, and first on the flat, when Lus Na Hoiche took the Waterford and Tramore Directors’ Handicap.

Shane Foley produced the filly with impeccable timing to collar the flattering Karcarhue on the line.

Favourite Master ‘n Commander looked sure to score when coming from off the pace to power clear coming away from the third last in the Graun Hill Handicap Hurdle.

But in making what appeared to be the decisive move, he used up far too much petrol and had nothing left as top weight Back Of The Pack flashed home to nail him on the line.

Sean Flanagan partnered the winner for Tom Kidd and he was returned at 14-1. He paid almost 31-1 on the Tote.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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