Byerley Babe battles well to book place at Punchestown

Byerley Babe, trained by Robert Tyner for J P McManus, justified favouritism in the Easter Handicap Hurdle at Cork yesterday.

Byerley Babe battles well to book place at Punchestown

She moved beautifully through the contest for Philip Enright and looked the most likely winner for much of the journey.

Paul Townend allowed De Dodger to lead approaching the home turn, but Byerley Babe appeared to be full of running all the way up the straight.

She got to the front before the final flight, but De Dodger refused to go down without a fight and there was just a head between them at the line.

“She battled well on that ground’, said Tyner. “It was a good performance in her first handicap, against seasoned horses.

“I’ll have to talk to the bosses, but think she will go to Punchestown for a mares’ race for horses who haven’t won a Grade 1 or 2.”

Tyner completed a 23-1 double when County Champions, carrying the colours of Carrigtwohill owner, Eoin O’Mahony, took the Bumper with any amount in hand.

Partnered by Con McSweeney from Ballincollig, the daughter of Milan cruised ahead under two furlongs down to score unextended by seven lengths.

“She will now go straight to the bumper for mares at Punchestown”, said a clearly pleased Tyner.

Jason Maguire’s decision to come to Cork for two rides for Gordon Elliott paid rich dividends, as he landed a double, including taking the Grade 3 Imperial Call Chase with the ultra-consistent Roi Du Mee.

The winner was always on the pace and Maguire slipped him into the lead heading to the home turn.

Roi Du Mee then found loads, as usual, for Maguire driving and was comfortably clear of Pandorama at the line.

Commented Maguire: “He was very good, but a bit idle in front. I spoke to Davy (Russell) and he said not to be afraid to send him on.”

Maguire and Elliott also teamed up with Bayan, a morning price gamble, who did the business in the Father’s Day Racing June 16th Maiden Hurdle. He was taken at 6-1 and returned a strong 3-1 second favourite.

Courage went off market leader, but hitting the second last was no help and he was out-battled from the final flight by the winner, the verdict three parts of a length. “I rode here before, but it was many years ago”, said Maguire.

Michael Hourigan’s nicely backed A Fine Young Man landed the wagers, under a fine Mark Enright drive, in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Beginners Chase.

Jumping well, he made most of the running and kept finding to shrug off the persistent Stradbally between the final two fences.

“It’s nice to train a winner in those colours (Dorans Pride)”, reported Hourigan.

Sitcom, who unseated Alan Crowe at the first at Downpatrick previously, made no mistake in the Summer BBQ July 12th Mares’ Maiden Hurdle.

She jumped well and travelled like a dream through the race, with Crowe again in the plate.

Favourite, Chiltern Hills, made most, but had nothing left once Crowe produced the winner to edge ahead shortly before the final flight.

The modest Munster Waste Management Handicap Hurdle went to Roman Numeral, having a first run for trainer, Eoin Doyle.

He powered through over on the far side for Mikey Butler heading to the last, but then crashed into the obstacle.

Butler picked him up in a flash, however, and Roman Numeral found more than enough to hold the late rush of market-leader, Whisky And Rye. The shock winner was a 16-1 shot, but paid almost 35-1 on the Tote.

Brian O’Connell, who rode Whiskey and Rye, was found guilty of using his whip about shoulder height and suspended for one day.

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