Gimli the rock Joe perished on

On an afternoon when Galway Hurdle hero Rebel Fitz paraded after the second race, the veteran Tommy Treacy took the riding honours with a double at Cork yesterday.

Treacy got married on June 29 and these were his first successes since that day. “I have to keep it going now, I have a family to feed”, quipped the pilot.

He completed the brace aboard Jessica Harrington’s Gimli’s Rock, the outsider of the three runners, in the Hurdle.

Mossey Joe went off a 1-3 shot and tried to make all of the running. Despite a minor tendency to jump to his left, it looked to be plain sailing for the hot-pot for most of the journey.

But the distress signals began to fly coming away from the third last and he was gone when headed by the winner at the next.

The defection of the potentially high-class Pique Sous, because of a temperature, robbed the Family Day Out Maiden Hurdle of much if its interest.

In any case victory went to the Harrington-trained 14-1 newcomer, Run ‘N Jump, initiating Treacy’s double.

She looked the likely winner all the way up the straight and had her task simplified when eventual second, Swampfire, got it all wrong at the final flight.

Serra Nova, trained by Donie Murphy in Midleton and carrying the colours of his brother, Matt, took the Follow Us On Twitter Handicap Hurdle.

She was pushed into the lead coming away from the last and battled on strongly to beat Ballylibert, who didn’t help his cause with an awkward leap two out.

The Serra Nova colours used to be owned by the late Colonel Dick Warden, who was a patron of the late Jimmy Murphy, father of Donie and Matt, one of his better horses being Man Of Leisure.

Warden was the man who inspired the Arabs to take an interest in British and Irish racing back in the 70’s.

Serra Nova was ridden by Brian O’Connell, who is a son Val O’Connell, clerk of the course at Cork.

Val is a former jockey himself and actually rode his first ever winner for Jimmy Murphy in a maiden hurdle at the old Limerick.

Akinspirit, trained in Kilkenny by Michael Butler and ridden by his son, also Michael, won the Cork Handicap Hurdle with any amount in hand.

He joined front-running Echo Bob at the third last, soon led and was quickly striding clear to easily neat Tellherimnothere.

Said Butler senior: “I’d say that was a very average contest, I haven’t a clue what will be next.”

That was the trainer’s opinion, but, one suspects, the handicapper may not quite be in total agreement!

Bookmakers got a screamer in the Bumper when Vintage Supreme, trained by John Long in Co Limerick, between Adare and Askeaton, scored at 22-1.

He got a superb drive from Mikey O’Connor, powering up the far rails to lead two furlongs down and then holding the late rush of Wrong Way Corrigan.

“When Robbie McNamara got off the horse at Thurles (February) he said not to run him again until he got good ground”, reported Long.

Willie Mullins’ Champagne Agent managed to turn what looked certain victory into defeat in the Maiden Hurdle.

Paul Townend got him to the front before the third last and Champagne Agent must have been close to four lengths to the good heading to the final flight.

But he found little on the flat and Davy Russell seized his chance to drive Minella Lady ahead close home and score by a neck.

Well-backed Reafadda went off favourite, but found nothing from the home turn, trailing in a poor third.

Slim To None followed his recent win at Killarney by taking the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.

Ridden by Andrew Ring, this was his second on the track, Slim To None forged past the flattering Fitzgutentyte before the last to score by a length and a half.

He drifted markedly to his left on the run in, however, in front of the second, and a stewards’ inquiry was inevitable.

Equally inevitable was that no alteration to the placings was deemed necessary. Ring, though, was found guilty of careless riding and cautioned, his good record being taken into account.

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