Bargain-buy Much Acclaimed scoops another major prize

THE John Morrison-trained Much Acclaimed has to be one of the best bargains ever picked up at the sales.

At Listowel yesterday, he landed the featured Listowel Races Supporters’ Club Lartigue Hurdle, adding to his gains on the flat at the Curragh three days earlier.

A son of Sulamani, he used to be trained in England by Tom Tate. But at Doncaster last November Much Acclaimed was bought for just £800.

This looked a competitive contest, but the reality was that the winner scored with plenty in hand.

He came there cantering under Patrick Mangan in the straight, eased ahead between the last two flights and only had to be pushed out to beat Walden Prince.

Said Morrison: “He’s a box-walker and very highly strung and suits a yard with only three in training like mine. He’s a fine big horse and, as a four year-old, I don’t want to be too hard on him. This is a great jumper and, in two years’ time, could be an Arkle horse.

“He will mix it flat and jumps for the moment, but this was his fourth win in five starts and will probably now have a break.”

The blinkers worked the oracle on Pat Flynn’s Mamma Rose, who had been a trifle costly to follow, in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Handicap.

They certainly did the trick, because the daughter of Footstepsinthesand was in complete control for Danny Grant in the straight to score by three lengths.

Commented Flynn: “She is a really lovely filly and I’m delighted for Tom Cahill, who is one of my long-standing owners.”

Athens, the medium of some hefty wagers, justified the confidence in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Maiden.

Driven ahead off the home turn by Joseph O’Brien, the son of Dylan Thomas kept finding to hold Amhrasach by a length and a half.

Reported O’Brien: “He wasn’t doing a stroke in front. This is a good-moving colt, the ground is horrible and he didn’t like it.”

Dermot Weld’s Angel Bright, despite finishing well down the field first time at Naas, was far from neglected in the market for the Jet O’Carroll Memorial Median Auction Maiden.

Pat Smullen, riding at the top of his game, gave her a confident drive, producing the daughter of Dark Angel with a late challenge to cut down the flattering Lord Jim.

“She was quite green at Naas and coped very well with the ground”, reported Smullen.

Kateeva, trained by Joe Fogarty at Kilfeacle, Co Tipperary and a winner at Laytown previously, ran away with the Brandon Hotel Handicap.

Partnered by Leigh Roche, Kateeva was in front approaching the home turn and powered clear to beat Sassaway.

It was a first ever success at the track for Fogarty, who quipped: “I hope the handicapper will be generous!”

Tom Queally’s brother, Declan, gave Golden Alou a polished drive to land the Kerry Petroleum Handicap Chase. He sent the Gerry Lynch trained eight-year-old ahead coming to the home turn and Golden Alou never flinched thereafter.

“I’m delighted to be able to ride against jockeys like A P McCoy”, exclaimed a delighted Queally.

McCoy’s mount, Pocket Reader, was all the rage in the market, but never threatened to take a hand and could only manage a well beaten fifth.

McCoy’s luck was out again in the concluding C and F Tooling Maiden Hurdle when Worldly Wise, nicely supported in the market, proved no match for the favourite, Black Benny. This was a decent effort from Black Benny, considering it was his initial pop over jumps. He was full of running heading to the last and Denis Hogan didn’t have to be in any way hard on him to score by a length and three quarters.

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