‘Headbanger’ Bobdoes the business

Bob Lingo continued the tremendous run of owner JP McManus when bagging the €75,000 Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase on the final day of the Easter Festival at Fairyhouse.

Described by his trainer Tom Mullins as “a bit of a headbanger’, Bob Lingo raced close to the pace throughout and stayed on stoutly for Mark Walsh in the closing stages to beat Foildubh by three and a half lengths, with the flattering Uncle Tom Cobley fading to finish third.

The McManus-owned favourite Sot From The Hip (Tony McCoy) flopped, finishing a distant sixth while his Cheltenham Festival winner, top-weight Bellvano, sustained fatal injuries in a last fence fall.

Tom Mullins attributed Bob Lingo’s return to winning form to a change of training routine, explaining: “He had a couple of hard races before Christmas and ran in both the Paddy Power and Thyestes, when I fancied him. But he lost his way a bit and we decided to lighten off on him and freshen him up. And it has worked — this is a great pot to win with him, back to the scene of his beginners chase win.”

He added: “He’s a great, old trier. And we’ll see what the handicapper does to him. But we might try to exploit his hurdle mark in Punchestown, rather than run over fences again.”

Earlier, Tony McCoy notched his fifth win of the festival when Ballynacree, owned by McManus and trained by Christy Roche, captured the opening, Grade 3 Weatherbys Ireland GSB 4-Y-0 Hurdle.

Nursed along by McCoy, the Westerner gelding edged ahead going to the final flight but had to be driven out to keep Gorgeous Sixty (Ruby Walsh) at bay by a length and a quarter, the pair stretching seven lengths clear of the remainder.

A delighted Roche commented: “He’s a grand big horse that loves soft ground. He’s out of a Montelimar mare and should stay forever. He’s still learning and is quite raw. And he’s a terrible work-horse at home. I’ll have to discuss plans with Frank (Frank Berry, JP McManus’s Racing Manager), but I’d say he’s finished for the season.”

Ruby Walsh enjoyed a welcome change of luck (his first winner since False Economy in Limerick on April 1) when Vast Consumption, trained by Willie Mullins for Michael O’Neill from Roscarberry, Co Cork , landed the €60,000 www.thetote.com Handicap Hurdle emphatically from the McCoy-ridden favourite The Way We Were.

Vast Consumption coped admirably with a significant drop in trip, as Mullins explained: “It’s terrific that she could drop back from three miles to two and win such a nice race. She’ll go to Punchestown now and the Galway Hurdle is in the back of my mind for her.”

County Wexford Point-to-Point specialist Colin Bowe had a day to remember, saddling a spectacular 356/1 double, highlighted by the battling victory of 20/1 shot Clondaw Kaempfer in the €100,000 Tattersalls Ireland George Mernagh Memorial Sales Bumper.

The Oscar gelding, placed in his two point-to-point runs, stayed on tenaciously to beat The Liquidator by a half-length, with the Nicky Henderson-trained favourite Snake Eyes (Jane Mangan) third, having taken command turning for home and looked an assured winner.

Winning rider Colin Motherway and James’ Corky’ Carroll, who partnered the runner-up, were both suspended for two racedays, having been found guilty of using their whips with excessive frequency.

Pulled up in her last two starts, at Thurles and Limerick, Askanna bounced back to grab Grade 3 glory in the John Fowler Memorial Mares Chase, getting the better of Banjaxed Girl (trained by Lady Fowler) by a length and a quarter, initiating the Bowe double.

Following near misses for his son Paddy (on Out Now in Monday’s Irish Grand National) and daughter Jane (on Snake Eyes in yesterday’s €100,000 bumper), Jimmy Mangan won the Fairyhouse Steel Joseph R.O’Reilly Memorial Huners Chase with the Damien Murphy-ridden Oscar Delta.

The nine-year-old, third to Salsify in the Christies Foxhunters at Cheltenham and meeting that rival (fell when chasing the leaders at the second last) on 13lb. better terms got the better of joint-favourite On The Fringe by a half-length.

On the mark on board Carrigmartin in Mallow on Sunday, Niall ‘Slippers’ Madden hit the target again when Mister Farmer, trained by Martin Brassil for Bernard Carroll (currently in Portugal) romped to a facile, twelve lengths victory over Kylebeg Krystle in the Fairyhouse Committee Handicap Chase.

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