Faltering Fullback fights back to score

FALTERING FULLBACK buckled down in fine style to land the McSweeney Arms’ Hotel Hurdle at Killarney last night.

Alain Cawley took him to the front over three out, but Faltering Fullback looked in trouble when headed at the next by Turf War.

Cawley, however, was soon getting a generous response from his partner, who fought back to lead again and then stretch five and half length clear on the flat.

Trainer Eric McNamara said: “He’s going to be exciting over fences next season and I think is better over two and a half or three miles.

“He has been schooled and jumps very well. It is out on grass for him now and he will go straight over fences next September or October.”

Former Galway Hurdle winner Cuan Na Grai had his first victory over fences with an effortless success in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Beginners Chase, completing a double for Cawley.

He was cantering all over his rivals throughout, cruising ahead over the third last to beat front-running Our Symphony by 11 lengths.

Commented Nolan: “He broke down in a Grade 1 hurdle at Punchestown and was very sore after falling at Navan the last day. Hopefully, we will have a good summer campaign with him on nice ground.”

The return to form of Michael Hourigan’s inmates continued when 25-1 shot Junior Boss streaked away with the Laurels’ Bar Maiden Hurdle.

Tom Doyle eased him ahead over the second last and Junior Boss skipped clear to score with any amount in hand.

He is the first horse to win for the Lisaleen Racing Club, which was set up by the trainer himself.

Explained Hourigan: “I want the club to have 100 members and four horses at 1,000 for the year. At the moment there are only 15 members, but maybe this will help. This horse has to travel left-handed.”

Junior Boss, however, was struck

into during the contest and will be on the easy-list for a while. Hourigan hopes to have him back for Listowel in September.

Dermot Weld has been having a lean time over the last few weeks, but got back on the winning trail with Daasij in the Killarney Racegoers’ Club Race.

Pushed ahead over a furlong down by Pat Smullen, Daasij had little trouble holding Elyaadi.

“He was entitled to win on ratings and I was hoping the Bolger horse (Via Galilei, the favourite) wouldn’t stay,” said Smullen.

Via Galilei was a strong order in the ring, 5-2 to 6-4, but never settled, finishing a well beaten fifth.

WASHINGTON LAD, fifth to J’y Vole at Punchestown,

appreciated the drop in class afforded him in the M D O’Shea and Sons Handicap Chase.

Teo Perugo flattered for much of the straight, but Paddy Flood got

a powerful late surge from Washington Lad to mug the leader near the

line.

The Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap produced the tightest finish of the evening, with two short heads covering the first three home.

Not Til Monday and Ice Bound were fighting it out, until Chris Geoghegan got a late burst from Eoin Griffin's gelding to hit the front in the final stride.

Padraig Beggy, who partnered Not Til Monday, was suspended for two days for using his whip with excesisve force and frequency.

Billy Lee is having a fine run and was again seen at his best aboard Charlie Swan’s Rajik in the Killarney Vintners’ Handicap.

Roll Over Rover looked all over a winner for most of the last two furlongs, but Lee conjured a terrific late burst from Rajik to lead close home and win by a neck.

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