Front-running tactics ideal for Starkie around tight Tramore circuit

The locally trained Starkie, in the care of Henry de Bromhead, won the Waterford and Tramore Racecourse Novice Hurdle at the seaside track yesterday.

He made all when taking his maiden at Cork and the same tactics proved ideal around this course for Philip Enright’s mount.

Well-backed favourite, Moveable Asset, tried to close him down through the last half mile, but was always fighting a losing battle.

“He’s a good, tough horse, idled a bit in front, but will make a chaser”, reported Enright.

Later in the day, Enright completed an 83-1 double aboard the Eoghan O’Grady-trained 20-1 shot, Unoccupied.

The Old Vic gelding jumped to the front four out and made the rest to easily beat Zekarya.

Said O’Grady: “I will probably enter him in a three miles and one handicap at Fairyhouse on January 20, I’ll see what mark he gets.

“He won a point-to-point at Affane (Co Waterford) and that was a tight track as well.”

Mark Enright gave Chasing Shadows a delightful drive to take the Graun Hill Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.

He had her in the first two from the start and allowed the daughter of Presenting to lead with a circuit to cover.

The winner edged nicely clear going to the last, crossing the line a comfortable three parts of a length to the good over the always prominent Mollydod, doing her best work at the end.

Chasing Shadows, trained by Dessie Hughes, was all the rage in the market, finding 6-4 favouritism, from 5-2.

“That takes me off the cold list”, remarked Bandon, Co Cork trainer, James Dullea, after his Indelible Run had won the Join The 2013 Tramore Racecourse Members’ Club Maiden Hurdle.

Given an excellent drive by Brian Hayes, the daughter of Moscow Society came from behind to nail long time leader, Tabac Brun, in the last fifty yards.

Commented Dullea: “She’s a fine mare and Brian gave her a fantastic ride. She has plenty class and a huge cruising speed.

“I was a bit worried about the trip and will drop her back next time. She will mix it between hurdles and fences.”

Ballyquin Queen, trained by James Motherway, shrugged off top weight to take the Handicap Hurdle at 14-1.

The daughter of King’s Theatre carried the colours of Claire Gleeson, wife of RTE’s Brian.

All The Way Home grabbed the advantage before the second last, but David Splaine powered the winner through to lead half way up the run in.

Said Brian Gleeson: “That’s a great surprise. The whole family is here and we were hoping she would be placed.”

Punters were very much out of luck with warm 4/5 favourite Ponmeword in the Find Us On Facebook Handicap Chase.

He hit the third last, but was poised to launch his challenge when slipping up down in the dip before two out.

After that Salazar, strongly handled by Shay Barry, survived two tired leaps over the final two fences to hold Torremuelle by the minimum margin, a nose.

Ben Dalton, who rode Torremuelle, was found guilty of misuse of the whip and suspended for three days. He was also ordered to attend at RACE for a day.

Nina Carberry’s mount, Waylander, was all the rage in the Bumper, but after travelling sweetly for most of the journey found nothing from the home turn.

Victory went to the Paul Fahey-trained ex-winning pointer, Golden Plan, who shot on turning in for Kate Harrington to score by five and a half lengths.

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