25-1 shot Top Spin springs Gold Cup surprise

FOLLOWING a long period when his horses were out of form, John Murphy’s inmates are now simply flying and his Top Spin roared home to land a 25-1 shock in the valuable Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap at Killarney last night.

Superbly handled by Sam James, the three-year-old son of Cape Cross was 7lbs wrong at the weights, but made light of such an irritation.

Galway hero Admiral Barry made his bid off the final bend, but Top Spin was soon out after him and mastered the leader at the furlong pole.

Alpine Eagle, a little slowly away, was being pushed along from a fair way out by Fran Berry, but made relentless late progress.

He could never quite get there, however, and was half a length adrift of Top Spin at the line, with Admiral Barry just another half a length away in third.

“That was great,’’ exclaimed Murphy. “We have always thought a lot of him and he is as tough as teak. Sam gave him a fine ride. This fellow has a good attitude and who knows where he might end up.’’

Zaralabad was the unlucky horse of the race. He found all the trouble that was going at Galway previously and, unfortunately, managed to do just that again.

He constantly found his way blocked in the straight and by the time Billy Lee finally managed to extricate him the race was over.

Odds-on punters were on the ropes after the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Maiden, with Aidan O’Brien’s Luxurious biting the dust.

She held every chance, but 12-1 shot Praise Be, initiating a 337-1 double for John Murphy, was far too good for her, lengthening clear, despite rider Leigh Roche dropping his whip, inside the furlong pole.

“She was very fresh after Gowran Park (finished second) and is progressive and getting better all of the time,’’ reported Murphy.

Patrick Neville, who trains at Askeaton, Co Limerick, saddled his first winner since Ambershan scored at Limerick in May of last year when Curragh Grey landed the malton.com Handicap Chase.

The 16-1 shot stayed on dourly for Sean McDermott to wear down Rumreelic, who took a real chance with the penultimate obstacle.

“That was badly needed, it has been a terrible year. Our horses were sick and we lost some nice ones as well,’’ Neville said.

Pat Flynn continued his terrific run when Waydownsouth upset market-leader, Elusive Art, in the Cork Bar And Catering Handicap.

Elusive Art flattered up the straight, but repeatedly swished her tail and the winner had no trouble powering past for Danny Grant.

“I was hoping he’d run well, but didn’t think he’d win,’’ revealed Flynn.

Lady Hillingdon, down the field in the Galway Hurdle behind Overturn, had her attentions successfully turned to fences in the McSweeny Arms Hotel Mares’ Beginners Chase.

She held a narrow advantage over Watermelon rising to the last and when the challenger hit the fence hard that seemed to settle the issue.

Watermelon, though, rallied strongly on the level and the pair flashed across the line locked together, the camera showing a short head separating them. Guzzle An Go took a fatal fall at the first.

The Bumper went to Liz Doyle’s Anoosou and Michael Fogarty, who sprinted ahead over a furlong down to beat Red Tiger.

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