The Liam Burke-trained five-year-old, a creditable third to Dedigout at Navan last time, headed the favourite after Paul Carberry’s mount made a mistake at the second last flight and stayed on stoutly for Shay Barry to score by almost four lengths.
It was the Presenting gelding’s second win over hurdles. And trainer Burke commented: “We’ve always looked at him as a staying chaser and anything he does over hurdles is a bonus.
“He never travelled the last day, in Navan, and travelled much better today. He’s still a big baby, but handles that ground well. He’ll probably have one more run over hurdles and will go chasing nest season.”
Paul Carberry, hero of Cross Appeal’s Paddy Power win on Tuesday and rider of runner-up Please Talk, endured a very mixed day, kicking off with adisappointing effort from odds-on favourite Bat Masterson in the opener and ending with the fall of another odds-on shot Definite Class, when beaten, in the Emmet Leahy Millstream Memorial Beginners Chsse.
But he salvaged one winner, when Medical Card, trained by Noel Meade, justified 7/4 favouritism in the Irish Independent Beginners Chase, beating Fernhurst Lad by a length.
Meade commented: “He’s a horse that has shown flashes at home. But he has been disappointing overall, although his last run in Punchestown isn’t looking too bad at this stage. I think he’s suited by racing up with the pace, as he did today — I think it helps him concentrate. He’s bred to stay and we’ll see what the handicapper does before making plans for him.”
Despite a couple of setbacks, Gigginstown House Stud is enjoying a tremendous week and struck again when Arnaud, trained by Charles Byrnes and ridden by Philip Enright, belied his price (16/1) in the opening Freeman Keane Associates 3-Y-0 Maiden Hurdle. Travelling well throughout, he came through strongly to beat Around The Clock by a length and three-quarters, prompting his trainer to comment: “That was a pleasant surprise. He’s a nice horse, but I thought he might need the run. He was very green when he arrived, but is getting a bit stronger. He’ll go for a ‘winners of one’ somewhere.”
The Emmet Leahy Millstream Memorial Beginners Chase produced a dramatic climax as the Mouse Morris-trained Shane Rock, bidding to give Andrew McNamara double, jumped the final fence in a clear lead before tiring and being nailed on the line by Friendly Society.
The winner, an unconsidered 20/1 shot, was ridden by Paul Moloney, on a rare visit home from England, and is trained by Michael Hourigan, who arrived at Greenmount too late to see the action, having made the dash from Leopardstown.
Andrew McNamara had been on the mark when Dog Barrel Hill, backed from 6/1 to 7/2, landed the Friends Of Limerick Racecourse Maiden Hurdle at the expense of Castlerock Rose.
Dog Barrel Hill was a first winner, under rules, for Bandon-based James Dullea, who spent two years with John Murphy and has enjoyed plenty of success in the point-to-point field.
Another gamble (in the morning) was landed when the Eoghan O’Grady-trained Clashnabrook (Conor Maxwell) proved too strong for favourite DrProctor in the Ryans Event Cleaners Handicap Hurdle
And Martin Fitzgerald, who trains in Inch, near Killeagh, Co Cork, savoured his first win in almost two years when Lastoftheplots, ridden by ‘Corky’ Carroll, prevailed in the bumper.
The Bach gelding got home ahead of Kerrieonvic and favourite Kerryhead Storm in a finish which saw less than two lengths cover the first five home.