Police answers the call for Walsh

Call The Police justified short-priced favouritism in the featured Grade 3 Beamish Stout Phil Sweeney Memorial Chase at Thurles yesterday, but not before giving punters a fright.

Ruby Walsh allowed him lead going to the fifth last, but Paul Carberry was soon in pursuit on market rival Foildubh.

There wasn’t much to choose between the pair over the last two fences, but Call The Police was in receipt of 7lbs and that was the decisive factor, as he edged home half a length to the good.

Said winning trainer Willie Mullins: “It was worth missing Christmas, we had this in mind for him, it is a nice prize. Stepping up to two and a half miles will be no problem and he could also come back to two.”

The expected Mullins-Walsh double with Cadspeed, in the Devil’s Bit Beginners Chase, failed to materialise when the 1-2 shot could only struggle home a well-beaten third behind Pineau de Re and Stony Grey Soul.

Cadspeed tried to make all, but Walsh was more than animated before the home turn and Pineau de Re had no trouble breezing past in the straight to beat the somewhat unlucky Stony Grey Soil by a head.

Stony Grey Soil was brought to a standstill at the fence in front of the stands, with a circuit to go, when Rourke’s Cross fell. Sadly, Rourke’s Cross broke a leg and had to be put down.

“That was lovely, he won snug enough,” said Pineau de Re’s trainer, Philip Fenton, who indicated that a novice handicap might be next for his charge.

Mullins completed a double, however, when his son, Patrick, guided long odds-on Briar Hill to victory in the Bumper.

Always prominent, the Shantou gelding lengthened clear in the straight to beat Boondooma by seven lengths.

“He hadn’t shown me much until his last piece of work,” revealed Mullins. “I’d imagine he’s good enough for a winners’ bumper.”

Odds-on shot, War Correspondent, bit the dust in the thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle. The half-brother to former Cheltenham gold Cup winner War Of Attrition ran no sort of race and was beaten going out for the last time.

Victory went to Eugene O’Sullivan’s Rocknrollrambo, second in a point-to-point at Dromahane last Sunday, who battled on to hold Mimi And Bow.

“We fancied him at Dromahane and he got beaten by a newcomer,” reported O’Sullivan. “He was fresh and well and we decided to let him take his chance. We’ll find a winners of one now and he’s a three-mile chaser for next season.”

The opening Cashel Mares’ Maiden Hurdle was a modest contest, but produced a ready winner in Stop The Clock, trained by Christy Roche for JP McManus.

Ridden by Alan Crowe, the daughter of Oscar edged ahead over the third last and was soon clear to beat Peinora.

Frank Berry represented connections and said: “She came on a bit for Navan (first run), is a great jumper and handles the ground.”

Dazzlers Day, who had a theoretical 10lbs in hand in the Horse And Jockey Handicap Hurdle, following an easy success at Limerick, performed deplorably.

Rob Jones was pushing and cajoling from a long way out, got little response and the favourite eventually trailed in last of the finishers.

The contest went to 20-1 shot Moving On. Allowed lead over the third from home by Ben Dalton, the 11-year-old drew steadily clear to beat All Honours.

Shanroe Society, ridden by Liam McKenna for Jimmy Lambe, surged ahead between the last two flights to take the Munster Handicap Hurdle.

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