For Bill gets her campaign back on track

FOR BILL got her campaign back on track with an impeccable display of jumping to outclass the opposition in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Mares Beginners Chase at Thurles yesterday.

For Bill gets her campaign back on track

She had been mildly disappointing in her previous two outings this season, but this was a very suitable opportunity and the Michael Winters trained eight-year-old took full advantage.

Davy Russell allowed her to lob along near the front and then asked For Bill to lead going to the fourth last.

After that it was a matter of popping the remaining obstacles and she crossed the line a totally unflatterering two lengths to the good.

“That was a good tough slog and should open her pores a bit more”, said Winters. “She will be back here in two weeks and will probably have to take on some of Willie Mullins’.

“Adrian (Maguire) rode her the other day and felt she was as fit as a fiddle, but a race can bring them on.”

Bishopsfurze, who jumped deplorably at Naas previously, was another who got his act together with a smooth success in the INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Novice Hurdle.

His technique was much improved, although again none too smart at the last two. Bishopsfurze, however, was cantering all over his rivals and only had to be pushed out by Paul Townend to score with his head in his chest.

Trainer, Willie Mullins, reported: “He’s probably a bit better travelling right-handed and the extra trip and slower ground helped.

“He will get entries at Cheltenham, but will probably stay at home, unless showing huge improvement.”

Tom Doyle continued his fine run with a dashing drive aboard the Paddy Neville trained Curragh Grey in the Tote Jackpot Rollover Chase.

Doyle let her stride on heading out for the final time, but she looked beaten when headed at the last by For A Finish.

Doyle, however, was not to be denied, driving his charge back to the front in the dying strides.

Commented Neville: “She’s a good mare, improving all of the time. I don’t know where she will go next, but something like the Irish National would be the plan.”

We saw the unluckiest loser of the year so far, in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Beginners Chase, in the shape of Charles Byrnes’ Big Secret.

Backed from 7-2 to 5-2, he was sent to the front five out by Davy Russell and was miles clear when falling at the last.

Just Friends was left in the lead, he made a bad mistake and was hampered here, but kept going for Robbie Colgan to beat Rookery Rebel and Son Of Oscar.

Running Big Secret a close second, as far as being unlucky is concerned, was Lios A Choill in the Thurles Maiden Hurdle.

Taken from 2-1 to 6-4, the Patrick Mullins partnered gelding dived at the second last, but picked up in a flash and quickly forged away.

He did weave about heading to the last, but soon straightened out, before making no attempt to reach to the other side of the flight.

Then it was a case of The Pier battling on to get the best of a three-way tussle with Shannon Spirit and Marlos Moment, the verdict a neck and a head.

The Pier’s trainer, Joe Murphy, said: “He will be better on better ground and let’s hope he matures now.”

The layers ended their afternoon in style when 25-1 shot Dazzling Susie, ridden by Barry John Foley, arrived late to beat Ask Me Sister a neck in the Horse and Jockey Mares’ Bumper. The daughter of Stowaway is trained and owned by John O’Callaghan, who is based at Rathgormack, Co Waterford. O’Callaghan has held a licence at various stages since 1990, but this was the first winner he has ever trained.

Ballinahow Lady, strongly handled by John Cullen, produced a game effort to defy top weight in the Tote Trifecta Rollover Handicap Hurdle, beating The Breathalyster by three parts of a length.

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