Classy New Phase thwarts Psycho to take the honours

NEW PHASE, winner of the contest a year ago, repeated the trick at Cork yesterday when landing the Follow Us On Facebook Hurdle.

He was taking on Psycho on 15lbs worse terms, compared to a handicap, but made light of such a trifle to score in effortless fashion.

Robbie McNamara produced the winner to lead at the second last and he stayed on to beat Psycho by over two lengths.

New Phase is trained by Dermot Weld and owned by his son, Kris.

“That was a very good performance by horse and rider,’’ Kris said. “Today was the plan, but we will find something for him at Christmas, or into the New Year.’’

Willie Mullins Kempes proved strong in the market, but could not raise his tempo in the straight and was ultimately disappointing.

“I was getting worried, I haven’t trained a winner this week,’’ quipped in-form Mullins, after Sweet My Lord and Pozyc gave him a one-two in the Handicap Hurdle.

The pair had the contest between them from a fair way out, with Sweet My Lord, partnered by Ruby Walsh, showing the greater resolution in the closing stages.

Sweet My Lord carried the colours of Aiden Devaney and is part-owned by RTÉ’S Colm Murray, who is fighting motor neurone disease.

“I’ve spoken to Colm on the phone and he enjoyed the race,’’ related Mullins. “The heavy ground is the key to this horse and we won’t be afraid to go further with him.’’

The Robert Tyner-trained Daring Article, runner-up behind Jetson here previously, redeemed the promise of that effort with a decisive success in the Maiden Hurdle. Enterprisingly handled by Philip Enright, Daring Article was taken to the front over five out and was always holding Felix Yonger.

Mary Tyner did the honours and said: “He will probably come back here in two and a half weeks’ time.’’

Ballysteen hardly broke sweat to take the INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Maiden Hurdle, after his main rival, Local Celebrity, was carried out at the first flight by a wayward Top Flower.

The winner cruised along in second behind Captain Ocana, until Davy Russell asked him to lead coming away from the third last.

Trainer Michael Hourigan said: “We will take our time and find a winners’ of one. He’s a chaser in the making.’’

Hourigan completed a double, his first since Listowel in June of 2008, when Hans Cresent stormed away with the Christmas Party Raceday December 11th Handicap Chase.

Ridden by Adrian Heskin, Hans Crescent is owned by Sean Lucey from Ballymakeera Co Cork.

“He will go to Limerick for another handicap chase’, reported Hourigan.

Kick For Touch went off an uneasy favourite in the Bumper, but looked all over a winner when eased ahead over two furlongs down by Nina Carberry.

Charlie Swan’s newcomer, At Fishers Cross, was soon challenging, however, eventually proving best to the tune of half a length.

At Fishers Cross was ridden by Alain Cawley’s brother, Brian, and may go to the sales at Newbury on Friday night. “He’s a lovely horse, but a big baby,’’ said Swan.

“I thought she’d never win a race, everything went right today,’’ exclaimed Liz Doyle, after Twelfth Of Never had taken the INH Stallion Owners EBF Beginners Chase.

Special Token looked sure to deliver all the way up the straight, but Declan Bates conjured a terrific last-gasp burst from the winner to get there in the dying strides and score by a head.

The eight-year-old daughter of Dushyantor is owned by Glen Howitt, who is married to Doyle’s sister, Christina.

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