Winner of the valuable October Handicap at Naas last time, the teak-tough four-year-old mastered disappointing favourite Luska Lad, (eventually finished only fourth) between the last two flight and stayed on in determined fashion to beat longshot Der Spieler with the winner's better fancied stable-companion Summit Meeting third.
The performance of Gimli's Rock delighted Belfast-based owner Geoffrey Ryddock and trainer Harrington who commented: “He’s tough and consistent and never lets us down, He doesn’t really like winter ground and deserves a break now. We’ll bring him back in the spring and might start him in the Red Mills at Gowran in February.”
The trainer admitted her surprise after Saville Row sprang a 16/1 surprise in the Allianz Maiden Hurdle, the second leg of the stable treble, getting the better of the Noel Meade-trained favourite Jakros.
Harrington said: “Anything this horse does over hurdles is a bonus, because he has always looked an out-and-out chaser. He has started to improve over the last few weeks. And I as hoping he might finish in the firth four or five. So winning is a bonus.”
Robert Power, successful on Saville Row, completed a personal double and provided Harrington with her third win of the afternoon when Bostons Angel built on his highly encouraging chasing debut run at Punchestown last week, justifying favouritism at the expense of Royal De La Thinte in the Porter & Co. Beginners Chase.
The winning trainer commented: “He was entitled to do that on form. He came out of the Punchestown race so well that I was happy to run him again so soon. He’ll probably go for the Drinmore (Grade 1 at Fairyhouse on November 18) now.”
Cheltenham is very much on the mind of trainer Paddy Neville following Macville’s impressive defeat of Oilily and Araucaria in the Grade 3 Lough Construction Mares Novice Hurdle.
Following up successes at Tipperary and Limerick, Macville romped home an easy eight lengths winner, prompting Neville to declare: “She’s a super mare. She’s improving with every run and goes on any ground.
“She probably deserves a bit of a break now, after three wins in five weeks. We'll probably bring her back for the mares race at Leopardstown over Christmas and then start planning for Cheltenham in March (the David Nichiolson Mares Hurdle).”
A Grade 3 juvenile hurdle at Fairyhouse at the end of the month is next on the agenda for the Gordon Elliott-trained Toner D’Oudairies, which bounced back from a disappointing hurdling bow at Thurles to win the opening maiden hurdle convincingly.
Robbie McNally, representing Elliott, said of the Davy Russell-ridden winner: “He got a fright at the first in Thurles and ran no race. But he did his job well today and is a nice prospect. He'll head to Fairyhouse in a few weeks for as winners' race.”
An impressive winner at Galway two weeks ago, the Noel Meade-trained Dylan Ross followed-up when recording another smooth success in the Archie Watson Memorial Flat Race.
“We've always thought a lot of him, “commented Meade. “He has schooled well and will go straight over hurdles now, probably before Christmas.”
Robert Power was denied a treble when Kimberlite King's attempt to make all in the Robinson Services Handicap Chase was foiled by the James Lambe-trained 16/1 shot I Hear A Symphony, under a superbly patient ride by Robbie Colgan.