Courtncatcher cashes in as Walsh loses way on Waaheb

Mark Walsh will not look back with any great relish on his performance aboard Waaheb in the Social Package Hurdle at Cork yesterday.

Trained by Dermot Weld for JP McManus, the odds-on shot travelled like a winner for most of the straight.

Andrew McNamara powered Courtncatcher ahead over the second last, but Waaheb was the still the horse you would have liked to be on.

Heading to the final flight, however, Walsh decided to switch outside both Courtncatcher and Well Tuned to challenge, and that took time.

Courtncatcher was now making the best of his way home and, though Waaheb ran on strongly late, was still a neck adrift of the winner at the line.

Courtncatcher is trained by Patrick Duffy at Villierstown, Co Waterford and is the only horse he has in training.

“He didn’t go on the ground at Killarney and likes a galloping track,” said a delighted Duffy.

Punters started off on the right note when well-backed favourite Equity Swap took the Follow Us On Twitter Maiden Hurdle.

This was a rather uncompetitive heat and very few of them ever got into it. The winner was about to take over when left in front four out, when Authorative fell.

It should have been plain sailing then for the Brian Hayes partnered five-year-old, but he was none too clever over the last two flights and had to be bustled along to maintain his ~advantage.

“Brian gave him a great ride, he is not an easy horse and doesn’t jump great,” said de Bromhead. “I might give him a spin back on the flat and maybe he will jump a fence better.”

De Bromhead’s Special Tiara was all the rage for the Cork Handicap Hurdle, competing off a mark that was 37lbs below his chase rating.

He went off at 4-6, but such technicalities don’t always translate and he was beaten coming away from the third last.

Victory went to the 25-1 shot, Wisty, who made all of the running in the hands of Shane Cremin.

Trained by Ted Stanners at Innishannon Co Cork, he was racing from 2lbs out of the handicap, but won with any amount in hand.

“He’s been schooling over fences at home, he was getting a bit low at his hurdles,” reported Stanners.

Baidim Fheilimi, trained by Paddy Cronin at Doneraile, Co Cork, defied top weight to take the Family Day Out Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

Ridden by Pierce Gallagher, she struck for home early in the straight and kept going well to beat Becheri.

“If still qualified she might come back here for a handicap hurdle she won last year and, before that, could run in a mares’ chase at Tramore,” said Cronin.

Prunella Dobbs’ Ourbeautifuldream, ridden by Davy Russell, ran away with the Maiden Hurdle.

Russell asked her to lead three out and the diminutive daughter of King’s Theatre soon scampered clear.

“It took us a bit of time to get her to win a maiden hurdle,” said Dobbs. “She is so small and tiny, I’m always nervous of running her with heavy weights. She is very, very genuine.”

Diamondgeezer Luke, a winner twice before being pulled up last time at Tipperary, was back on song in the Ticket Sales Online Handicap Hurdle.

Trained in Co Limerick by Flan Costello and ridden by Andrew Ring, he cruised into the lead heading to two out to score by five lengths.

“He will probably go for another handicap, the ground beat him the last day,” said Costello.

Willie Mullins’ Bosman Rule, fitted with cheek-pieces and revelling in the good surface, made all to easily land the Bumper.

He was beautifully handled by Mullins’ son, Patrick, who was subsequently of the opinion that it was the first occasion one of their horses had actually worn cheekpieces.

“He’s a real good ground horse and so big we were afraid to run him on this type of ground before,” commented Patrick.

“I worked him the other day and said to dad that he needed cheekpieces.”

Bosman Rule's future, of course, lies over fences, considering he is a half-brother to the 2005 Cheltenham Gold winner, Kicking King.

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