Cyborg lands substantial morning gamble for Byrnes

CHARLES BYRNES struck again when Cyborg landed a substantial morning gamble in the opening Western People Maiden Hurdle at Ballinrobe yesterday.

Backed from as big as 20/1 in the morning and sent off 3/1 second favourite, the five-year-old pounced late to deny front-running Ballyadam Brook, which made a costly mistake at the final flight.

Cyborg was a lucky spare ride for 7lb. claimer Robbie McCarth after a pre-race controversy, caused by the gelding’s scheduled partner Keith Schouss being reportedly unwell at lunctime and unable to take the ride.

Trainer Byrnes attempted to replace Schouss with Andrew McNamara, a request which was rejected by the Ballinrobe Stewards, who ordered the trainer to find a rider “with similar experience” to Schouss.

McCarth was approached and booked and, after Cyborg landed the spoils, Byrnes quipped: “Robbie gave him a grand ride,” before adding “The owner (Paddy Wilmott) had a few quid on this morning and it worked out. The horse is a great jumper and loved the better ground. We’ll tip away with him for the summer, on the flat and over hurdles. He’ll be a chaser some day.”

Claimer Adrian Heskin, hero of the recent Betfred Gold Cup at Sandown, continued on the crest of a wave when well-backed Warcraft (9/1 to 6/1) proved a facile winner of the Roundfort Stores Beginners Chase, stretching clear on the run-in to beat Some Target by four lengths.

Heskin was recording his fifth success in eleven days, three of them in Britain, and the nineteenth of his rapidly blossoming career.

Patrick Mullins has an impressive strike-rate at the County Mayo track and swooped late on uneasy favourite Cuchulains Son, trained by his father Willie, to thwart Sherchanceit in the Treacys Pharmacy Hurdle.

The winning rider commented: “The two miles was probably a bit sharp for him around here. He’ll step-up in trip the next day and I expect him to go chasing sooner rather than later.”

“That was a brilliant ride, the ride of all rides,” said a delighted Charlie Swan after David Casey produced the J P McManus-owned Adajal with a perfectly timed late challenge to land the P & D Lydon Plant Hire Handicap Chase at the expense of Heratnsoul and Gerannjo in a blanket finish.

Swan added “This horse has been heard to train. He isn’t the easiest to keep sound. But he’s a lot better on that nice ground. I hope to keep him on the go during the summer, but won’t run him on firm ground.”

Dessie McDonogh, best-known as trainer of the legendary Monksfield, registered the first jumps win of his career at Ballinrobe when Cothrom Na Feinne, in the colours of Mrs Jacqui Bolger, ran out a convincing seven lengths winner of the Killeen Sports Grounds Handicap Hurdle.

Ridden by John Cullen, the versatile five-year-old took command at the second last flight and stayed on strongly to slam dead-heaters Imperial Belle and Riverscape.

McDonogh declared: “He’s smashing horse and John gave him a cracking ride. He jumped great and got nearly four lengths at the second last.

“He loves that ground and, although he did well for us on the flat last year, he’ll probably stay hurdling. Galway could be part of the plans for him.”

James Lambe and Eddie O’Connell, in double form at Sligo on Sunday, were back in the winner’s enclosure after Yachvili won the Ba Morley Memorial Handicap Hurdle in good style, slamming longtime leader Barney King by seven lengths.

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