On a day when the chase course was found to be unfit for racing, causing the cancellation of the two chases on the card, Davy Russell had the Catcher In The Rye gelding close to the pace throughout before staying on stoutly to beat Reafadda by almost three lengths in the Follow Tipperary Races On Facebook Maiden Hurdle.
Colm Murphy said of the five-year-old, bought at Brightwells Sale in Cheltenham last April: “He won his point-to-point for Kieran Puicell and had a few niggly problems along the way. He’s built to be a chaser. And I have no immediate plans for him - I’ll have to speak to his owners.”
Out of luck at Cheltenham on Saturday, Charles Byrnes saddled newcomer Moscow Chief, ridden by Robbie McNamara, to win the bumper, making virtually all and battling well up the straight to keep Caoimhe’s Delight at bay.
Moscow Chief, a half-brother to Trafford Lad, was emulating his full-brother, Another Chieftain, which won this race for Byrnes two years ago.
The successful trainer commented: “I’m not sure if he’s for sale or if he’ll make the grade over hurdles. But he should be a decent three-mile chaser.”
Lar Byrne, who trains near Enniscorthy, enjoyed a welcome change of luck when American Flyer, enterprisingly ridden by 7lb. claimer Kevin Sexton, captured the Join The Tipperary Supporters Club 2013 Maiden Hurdle.
The Lord Americo gelding got the better of Zekarya, prompting Noel Dooly (the horse’s breeder and son of the winning owner) to confirm: “He had his wind done since he ran last and it has made a big difference to him. He travels well and jumps for fun. And this will be a big boost for Lar and everyone in the yard.”
In the handicap action, the colours of JP McManus were carried to victory in the Tipperary Races On Twitter Handicap Hurdle, not by the gambled-on, Niall Madden-trained Pride Of The Lions, but by 14/1 shot Grange, trained by Eddie Harty and ridden by Alan Crowe.
After seeing his charge beat Shesonlyahorse by almost five lengths, Harty admitted: “He was disappointing in the north. So I sent him home to Martinstown for a break. He’s maturing and seems a different horse since he came back. But this was a surprise, in such bad ground.”
And the Martin Ferris-ridden Vic Chic gave Killenaule-based Julie Weston her first training success in Ireland when landing the www.tipperaryraces.ie Handicap Hurdle at the expense of Western Man.