Torphichen 40/1 for Arkle after getting off the mark over fences

TORPHICHEN redeemed the promise of his first run over fences at Limerick - second behind the ultra-smart Quel Esprit - when taking the Chris ‘Hopper’ McGrath Beginners Chase at Clonmel yesterday.

Backed from 2-1 to 11-8, Edward O’Grady’ s charge buckled down in fine style when the need was greatest.

Cadspeed set a strong pace, considering the testing conditions, and had most of these in trouble a long way from home.

The exception was Torphichen, who had the leader in his sights throughout. Andrew McNamara, though, had to niggle at the winner early in the straight to close on Cadspeed.

Torphichen was more than willing, however, and had taken Cadspeed’s measure when that one guessed at the second last.

Commented O’Grady: “If he comes out of this alright he will go to Leopardstown at Christmas. I’m hoping he will be an Arkle horse and was disappointed when he got beaten at Limerick.”

Stan James gave Torphichen a 40-1 quote for the Arkle.

The Kilsheelan Beginners Chase cost the layers a bundle as well, with heavily-backed favourite, Colm Murphy’s Quito De La Roque, doing the business.

Davy Russell had him in front before the turn in and, despite weaving about a bit, Quito De La Roque was too good for Time Electric.

“I’m delighted and will see how he is before deciding about Christmas, there are plenty of options and the further he goes, and the softer the ground, the better”, said Murphy.

“Christmas will be warmer now”, quipped Tracey Collins, after her Kristal Komet had won the Powerstown three-year-old Maiden Hurdle.

Alan Crowe set the mare alight over four out and the tactics worked perfectly, as she was always holding Little Green.

“I’m thrilled with her, she really loves that heavy ground”, continued Collins. One possible danger was removed two out when the challenging Wealdmore Wave fell.

Lonesome Dove, who had become a bit frustrating, delivered in style in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.

David Casey had the daughter of Milan in front well before the second last and she stayed on to easily beat Evesham Star.

“It’s taken her a while”, said Swan. “She is more of a chaser than a hurdler and is well bred, being a half-sister to Shirley Casper.”

The David Ryan-trained Yeoman forged ahead going to the last to win the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle. Yeoman now heads to Limerick at Christmas.

Seaside Shuffle, having a first run for Charles Byrnes, was the business in the market. Taken as high as 6-1 in the morning and returned at 13-8, the favourite was beaten a long way from home.

Curragh Grey, a faller on her two previous outings, never threatened a repeat of that in the Colville Bloodstock Handicap Chase.

She bounded ahead early in the straight and had the measure of only possible danger, Island Wood, when that one departed at the final fence.

Willie Mullins’ Popcorn went off favourite, but was relatively easy to back, in the Bumper. Partnered by his son, Patrick, Popcorn forged ahead just over a furlong down to beat Jammia by three lengths.

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