Plans fluid for improving Carlingford Lough

The connections of Jezki - second in the Ryanair Hurdle - had better luck when the rapidly improving Galway Plate winner, John Kiely’s Carlingford Lough, also owned by McManus, landed the Grade 1 Topaz Novice Chase at Leopardstown yesterday.

Ruby Walsh looked set for a big race double when powering market leader, Morning Assembly, ahead at the last, but McCoy wasn’t to be denied and Carlingford Lough readily swept past on the flat.

“He got a very good ride and was produced at the right time”, said Kiely. “We all learnt from the Drinmore (Fairyhouse), we went a bit too soon.

“We will see how he is and then make plans. It is nice this has happened, he just keeps improving.”

Asked if the SunAlliance at Cheltenham was now an option, Kiely responded: “We will do what we’re told.”

Charles Byrnes’ Sea Light became the only horse to win twice at the meeting when easily landing the Mongey Communications Novice Handicap Hurdle.

He ran here under a mandatory 6lbs penalty, having gone up 13lbs for his success on Thursday.

There was no great pace in the race, but Davy Russell seized the initiative on the winner two out and Sea Light quickly put it to bed to score with plenty in hand.

Said Byrnes: “He will have break for a while now, maybe we will try again in six weeks.

“He stays well and it might be no harm to step him up in trip. He could make the running, is genuine and puts his head down.”

Henry de Bromhead’s Shanahan’s Turn was well supported in the market for the Ryanair Maiden Hurdle and duly did the business

He travelled smoothly throughout and this was over once Andrew Lynch asked him to lead approaching the home turn.

Commented de Bromhead: “I was disappointed with him at Down Royal (finished third), but Andrew said he needed further.

“He jumped great and was working really well, he’s a nice horse. He will stick to hurdling this season, but, like all of ours, we will have one eye on fences.”

Co Wexford trainer, Sean Doyle, enjoyed his biggest win to date when Theatre Bird took the Grade 3 IFG EBF Mares’ Hurdle.

She arrived on the back of winning what looked a modest maiden at Clonmel, but proved more than capable of stepping way up on that form.

Partnered by Bryan Cooper, Theatre Bird made every yard of the running and never flinched in the straight to beat Caoimhe’s Delight by four and a half lengths.

“This is a very, very good mare”, reported Doyle. “When I legged Bryan up I said make all, she won’t be caught.”

Philip Fenton, on the mark earlier in the week with the impressive The Tullow Tank, saddled the progressive Value At Risk to take the Bumper in fine style.

Pushed ahead early in the straight by Riche Kiely, the imposing four-year-old kept finding plenty to easily beat Draco.

“He’s a beautiful horse”, remarked Fenton. “He rose to the occasion today and is a hurdler and then a chaser.”

Shane Shortall gave Tony Martin’s Wrong Turn a fine ride to win the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase.

He brought him with a steady challenge to master Mackeys Forge from the final fence to score by a snug neck.

The pair did get close together on the run in and a stewards’ inquiry was inevitable. Equally inevitable was that the result would stand.

nThe attendance was 10,182, up from 8,372 last year. The bookmakers showed a healthy increase in their turnover at €952,531, as against €591,717 a year ago.

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