Sea makes waves in Ryanair market

By Ashley Iveson, Press Association Sport

Edward O’Grady’s eight-year-old led after the second-last and pulled clear on the run-in thanks to a good jump at the final fence.

The 4-6 favourite was driven out by Andrew McNamara to hold Natal by two and a half lengths with Snowy Morning half a length back in third.

Stan James cut Tranquil Sea to 5-1 from 6-1 for the Ryanair at Cheltenham.

“It isn’t often things go as much to plan as that. Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards and I couldn’t have asked for more,” said O’Grady.

“The owners decided we would be as well off running for 26,000 euro as schooling after racing.

“It was a very delicate balancing act as we wanted a bit of work and wanted to win the race but didn’t want him to have a hard race. It worked out well.

“Hopefully he’ll come on for the race. It’s his first Graded chase and if he improves from it he must have a shout (in the Ryanair).

“He has won on soft but I think he’s better on better ground and I think he should come to hand in the spring.”

Jockey Ruby Walsh was happy with Snowy Morning’s run ahead of the John Smith’s Grand National.

He said: “He looks great in his coat and it was a fair Grand National trial wasn’t it?”

Trainer Colin McBratney was also delighted with the run of Galway Plate winner Ballyholland, who showed up well for a long way and was not beaten too far in seventh over a trip short of his optimum.

He said: “You’d have to say it was a great run, a perfect sharpener for the Grand National at Aintree.

“I thought he was in with a real chance at the second-last – they just quickened away, but I am absolutely delighted.”

Shot From The Hip (6-1) gave O’Grady a double with victory in the Ladbrokes Cheltenham Bumper Series INH Flat race.

The six-year-old made virtually all in the hands of amateur JP Magnier and comfortably held the odds-on Aracuaria by three lengths.

He was given an 8-1 quote for the Champion Bumper by William Hill.

The Snowy Morning team of Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins continued their fine season with a near 15-1 treble through Tarkari, Cadspeed and Citizen Vic.

The latter completed a hat-trick over fences with a hard-fought victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase to put himself into contention for Cheltenham’s RSA Chase.

The 9-10 shot was pushed all the way by See U Bob as he made it a hat-trick over fences in getting home by two and a half lengths.

“Ruby said he settled great and it opens up a lot of longer trips for me,” said Mullins.

“He’s still in the RSA Chase and after today’s victory we’ll have to think about it.

“I had been going for the Power Gold Cup and probably at the end of the day he’ll go to Fairyhouse but we have to think about the other race.

“He’s bred to get a trip but the only problem I had with him was that he wasn’t settling. He seems to be improving.”

The top team had earlier been successful with Tarkari and Cadspeed (11-8 favourite), who ended a run of four seconds in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Tarkari (5-2 favourite) gained compensation for a gallant effort over the course and distance five weeks ago with a game victory in the Handicap Hurdle.

Cadspeed (11-8 favourite) ended a run of four seconds with his first win over timber in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Won In The Dark (9-10) looked different class to the opposition as he followed up a recent Punchestown success in the Ballsbridge Hurdle.

Davy Russell made his move on Sabrina Harty’s stable star after the penultimate flight and went on to beat Head Of The Posse by three lengths.

“Davy said beforehand the ground was not much worse than Punchestown but I was a bit worried about him over the longer trip,” said Harty.

Stewarts House (9-2 favourite) put up a gutsy performance for Paddy Flood to make all in the Carrickmines Handicap Chase.

“I’m very happy with that performance. He did use to have a tendency to jump out to the right but has got out of that,” said trainer Arthur Moore.

“He always run well here over hurdles. He’s settling better now. I’m thinking of the Irish National after that.”

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