Fogarty at the double

Mikey Fogarty took the riding honours on ‘Amateur’ day in Cork yesterday, completing a double on De Benno and Don’t Back Down, but also picked -up a four-day whip ban.

A morning gamble De Benno, one of just four horses trained by James Grace in Toomevara, County Tipperary, captured the Fegentri World Championship Handicap Hurdle at the expense of Coolnagorna Giggs.

A delighted and relieved Grace commented: “This is a problem horse. But he’s been in good form and was right today and we fancied him. He’s in again in Navan on Saturday and, if he’s okay, he’ll go there.”

Fogarty had to work much harder on Don’t Back Down, in the Gigginstown colours, which completed an across-the-card double and gave trainer Gordon Elliott his sixth success in 24 hours in the Beginners Chase,

Don’t Back Down stayed on under strong driving to hold Pigeon Creek by a half-length, prompting Fogarty to comment: “He’s tough and stays. But he wasn’t doing a stroke in front.”

Fogarty later felt the wrath of the Stewards when banned for four days, having been found guilty of not allowing his mount time to respond to his use of the whip.

Mossey Joe booked his ticket to the Champion Hunters Chase in Punchestown when justifying odds-on favouritism in the Jack Tyner Memorial Hunters Chase

Following a recent win at Gowran Park, the 8/11 favourite made most of the running and had to dig deep under Damien Skehan to see off Festive Affair by a length and a half.

Winning trainer Declan McNamara, who is based in Cratloe, County Clare, said: “I suppose he wasn’t as impressive as the last day, but J P’s horse is a decent horse. Better ground will bring out the best in this fellow and he’ll go to Punchestown now for the Champion Hunters.”

Out of luck on odds-on favourite Wedding Present in the opener, collared close home by the Pat Collins-ridden 20/1 shot Malt Gem, Ciaran Fennessy was on the mark when 3/1 favourite Nevskji, trained by Mick Winters, landed the Coolmore NH Sires Maiden Hunters Chase.

Winters explained: “Fair play to Paul (owner Paul O-Flynn) — he trained him in point-to-points and is due to get his trainer’s licence in a couple of weeks.”

In the other hunter chase action, Terence O’Brien saddled Shes Got Grit to win the Glenview & Rathbarry Studs Mares Maiden Hunters Chase in the hands of Richie Harding.

Trainer Aidan Kennedy stated: “I needed him to do more than win his point-to-point, because he’s heading for Brightwells,” after Moonlight Boy, ridden by Colan Sweeney, got the better of Double Irish in the Pegus Horse Feed Point-To-Point Series Final Flat race.

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