Gutsy Rock finds plenty to get off mark

"I didn’t think we would have many winners this week, he was our banker", said Pat Flynn, after his Gusty Rock had landed the Family Fun Afternoon Maiden Hurdle at the final stage of the Tramore festival yesterday.

Gutsy Rock finds plenty to get off mark

The five-year-old son of King’s Theatre was actually Flynn’s first of the week and he certainly stepped up on a promising debut over flights at Galway.

Davy Russell produced him to lead just before two out and Gusty Rock found plenty in the closing stages to hold Landau by a length.

Continued Flynn: “He will head the novice route and is a lovely horse.

“He could go for a winners’ of one at Listowel.”

Russell completed a double when guiding Eoin Doyle’s King High to a smooth victory in the featured Richard Power Private Client Betting Handicap Hurdle.

King High finished fifth on the flat behind Clondaw Warrior here on Saturday, but stripped fit and well to do the business in style.

Russell sent him on coming away from the second last and the ten-year-old scampered clear to beat Goal by five and a half lengths.

Said Doyle, saddling his third winner of the meeting: “He’s a right old servant. He ran a blinder here last night, missed the break, but flew home.”

Willie Mullins’ Alileo was all the rage for the Frank Gillane Memorial Maiden Hurdle and punters were entitled to be on good terms with themselves for most of the journey.

Paul Townend took him straight into the lead and the hot pot held a healthy advantage for most of the two-mile trip.

But the warning signals began to flash coming away from the third last, as Jonathan Burke asked the hitherto disappointing John Queally-trained Oscar Vespasian to close.

Oscar Vespasian was on terms over two out and soon showed much the greater resolution to beat his rival by two lengths.

Said Queally, with more than a hint of realism: “He finally got his head in front, there are no big plans.”

Magical Moon benefited from a superb Derek O’Connor drive to land the Chia Bia Maiden Hurdle.

O’Connor produced Michael Hourigan’s charge with impeccable timing to sweep past the front running Buster Dan Dan shortly after the last.

Hourigan’s son, Michael P, was then on the mark when Cut The Corner took the Comeragh Veterinary Handicap Hurdle.

Partnered by in-form Adrian Heskin, the Vinnie Roe six-year-old had this in safe keeping in the straight, as Coldstonesober ran on to claim second.

Commented Hourigan junior: “That’s my first winner in a long time, I can’t remember when I last had one.

“I was, however, without the licence for two years and only took it out again this time last year.”

Henry de Bromhead got off the mark at the festival when Zane Grey gave Andrew Lynch his first success since returning from injury in the Heinz Pollmeier Memorial Handicap Chase.

Zane Grey was running away going down to two out, looking sure to score. But then Raise Hell powered through to challenge and, if anything, was travelling the better rising to the last.

But Zane Grey was much the slicker at the obstacle and that made all the difference, the verdict half a length.

“It’s great that Andrew has had a winner”, reported de Bromhead. “The horses have been running well all week, but haven’t been winning, unfortunately.”

Mrs Mac Veale, trained at Villierstown, Co Waterford by Robert Murphy, made every yard of the running to win the Tramore Amusement And Leisure Park Mares’ Beginners Chase.

Dashingly handled by Andrew McNamara, the daughter of Karinga Bay kept finding to resist the persistent challenge of favourite, Definite Ruby.

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