Captain Cee Bee far too good for younger rivals

The 12-year-old Captain Cee Bee was far too good for his younger rivals in the Grade 2 Friends’ Of Tipperary Hurdle at Tipperary yesterday.

Mark Walsh asked him go about his business coming away from the second last and the admirable Eddie Harty-trained veteran lengthened clear to beat Midnight Game by five and a half lengths.

“He’s class, I can relax now”, exclaimed Harty. “I was a bit worried when he dropped back at the third last, but he put the race to bed in three strides.

“He is so enthusiastic and wants to do what he does. He’s like AP (McCoy) and doesn’t want to retire.

“I will sit down now and take a deep breath, I don’t want to go to the well too often.”

Rebel Fitz completed a five-timer with a magnificent round of jumping in the Grade 3 Like A Butterfly Novice Chase.

Despite sweating profusely, as he has done many times in the past, Rebel Fitz never touched a twig and some of his leaps were quite breathtaking.

Barry Geraghty allowed him to lead after the third last and he eased away to score with any amount in hand.

“I might try a hood on him”, related Winters. “Barry was very happy with the horse today, he often came in afterwards and wasn’t so.

“He will now go to Cheltenham for a two and a half miler on Friday week. He will have a break then and won’t run on bad ground.”

Dermot Weld’s Big Break was all the rage for the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes and, when he cruised to the front early in the straight, it looked money well invested.

But suddenly in-form Chris Hayes produced Sruthan with a sustained challenge and the four-year-old was too strong for the hot pot through the final furlong.

“He did that well, it was a great training performance by Paul (Deegan)”, said Hayes. “All we were worried about was the ground, but he seemed to handle it.”

Buonarroti found extraordinary improvement, compared to his debut fourth at Galway, when running away with the Athassel House Stud EBF Maiden.

Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo colt bounced away in front, kicked off the last bend and then stretched clear for Joseph O’Brien to score by eight and a half lengths.

Said Joseph: “He’s a good horse with a good attitude. He was very green at Galway and we thought had come on, but that surprised us.”

It was the 114th success of the campaign for Joseph, who is now just one short of Mick Kinane’s record of winners for a season set in 1993.

The Grade 3 Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle was won in good style by Pat Shanahan’s King Of The Picts.

He ran with the choke out at Listowel previously, but Andrew McNamara was more patient on this occasion and it paid rich dividends.

He had the winner in front over the second last and King Of The Picts was always holding Que Pasa, who would have been suited by a slightly longer journey.

“I put him in the race to find out how good he was”, reported Shanahan. “He is tough and game and we will now look at Cheltenham in November.”

A fair old gamble went astray on Dessie Hughes’ Pink Coat in the Woodlands Hotel Adare Handicap Hurdle.

He was taken from 3-1 to 7-4 favourite, but couldn’t get to grips with the front-running Libertys Gift, going down by three parts of a length.

Trained by Paul Flynn, Libertys Gift was given a superb drive by Michael Darcy. Said Flynn: “He’s a funny horse, doesn’t want it firm or soft. He just wants a bit of juice in the ground, which he doesn’t get very often.”

The Bumper was won in fine style by Willie Mullins’ market leader, Wicklow Brave, completing a hat trick.

He coasted through the contest, edged to the front at the furlong pole and stayed on to beat the promising Western Boy.

Patrick Mullins was in the plate and said: “The better the race the better he is, the fast pace suited him.

“He handles good ground, but we don’t know about soft, we will have to try him on it.”

Tommy Stack’s Beacon Lodge won the Tote Jackpot Races 3 To 6 Handicap with lots in hand.

Produced down the outside in the straight by Billy Lee, he swept past a wall of horses to win easily.

Beacon Lodge was having a first run for Stack, and in Ireland, having formerly been trained across channel by Dandy Nicholls.

More in this section

Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Home Delivery
logo-ie

HOME DELIVERY SERVICE

Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox