Realt check for subdued Mikael

Mikael D’haguenet was sunk without trace in the Grade 1 Bord na Mona With Nature Novice Chase at Leopardstown yesterday, victory going to Realt Dubh.

The success of Realt Dubh continued a terrific week for Noel Meade and Paul Carberry, on the mark of course with Pandorama in the Lexus Chase on Tuesday.

It is very much back to the drawing board for Mikael D’Haguenet, who was regarded as a possible Gold winner of the future.

He took a chance at a couple of fences and was inclined as well to edge to his right. He hit the fourth last hard and was immediately in trouble. In the end, Willie Mullins’ gelding trailed in a well beaten fifth.

Said Mullins: “His jumping was ordinary, there was no spring in it. He was just flat and the race probably came too soon after Fairyhouse. Right now, I have no plans.”

Saludos tried to make all of the running and just about held the call rising to the last. But he took a crashing fall, leaving the challenging Realt Dubh in front.

Meade’s charge then powered away to beat Noble Prince by five lengths, with the wide-running Torphichen in third.

Commented Meade: “He jumped brilliantly and just winged fence after fence. People laughed at me when I said I was disappointed with him at Fairyhouse.

“But it was just the trip, I thought he wanted two and a half miles. It will be the Arkle here next and then, hopefully, the Arkle over there (Cheltenham).”

Realt Dubh is owned by Derek Sharkey, while runner-up, Noble Prince, carried the colours of his father, Des.

Edward O’Grady’s Sailors Warn left a poor enough effort at Fairyhouse previously well behind when landing the Grade 2 Bord na Mona Fire Magic Juvenile Hurdle.

He raced on the pace at Fairyhouse, but Andrew McNamara exercised more patience here and it worked like a charm.

McNamara produced Sailors Warn to lead going to the final flight and the son of Redback quickened away to beat Fearless Falcon.

Commented O’Grady: “He didn’t jump at Fairyhouse, was almost knocked down passing the stands, but was disappointing.

“I would have been happy if he was in the first four today. He is likely to come back here in February for the Hennessy meeting.”

The O’Grady-McNamara combination completed a double when Shot From The Hip justified some major wagers with a smooth victory in the Bord na Mona Clean Air Maiden Hurdle.

There wasn’t a huge amount of pace in the race and McNamara soon had his charge racing near the front.

He committed for home going to two out and getting in tight to the last made no difference, as Shot From The Hip picked up to go away from Endless Intrigue.

“We’re pleased and relieved”, reported O’Grady. “Andrew felt being in front didn’t suit, but the way the race was run it was the right thing to do.

“He will have one more run, I don’t know where, and I’m hoping will be a Cheltenham horse.”

Hidden Universe was backed to the exclusion of everything else, in the Bord na Mona Clean Water Maiden Hurdle and, despite a marked tendency to jump to his right, won with plenty in hand.

Robbie McNamara soon had Hidden Universe in front and only had to push him out to easily beat Joe Smooth.

Trainer, Dermot Weld, said: “He is a very athletic and good horse and Robbie did the right thing making the running, it was his decision.

“I won’t be in any hurry and he will probably run in a winners’ of one in the middle of February. He is potentially a horse with a big future.”

Robbie completed an excellent couple of days when landing a double, to go with Majestic Concorde in the Paddy Power Chase on Wednesday, aboard Gordon Elliott’s well-touted newcomer Bold Optimist in the Bumper.

Only fourth entering the last furlong, the son of Oscar powered home to score going away by two and a half lengths.

Said Elliott: “He’s a proper horse and was working all over everything at home. This is a baby and we’ll see what the story is.”

Robert Tyner’s Askthemaster will be eleven tomorrow, but showed, in the Bord na Mona Firepak Handicap Chase, that there’s loads left in him yet.

Partnered by Philip Enright, he surged ahead before the last to beat Arklow Ger by a comfortable five and a half lengths.

Tyner went to the point-to-point at Dromahane and was represented by his wife, Mary. Said Ms Tyner: “We were hoping to run him at the start of December, but decided to wait for this instead. We will see now where he will go next.”

M J Doran was seen to advantage when driving Ned Of The Hill through late to grab Concrete And Clay in the modest Bord na Mona Clean Energy Handicap Hurdle.

- Yesterday’s attendance was 7,880.

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