Sweet-jumping Indevan delivers despite scare at third last

Willie Mullins’ Indevan easily reversed previous Kilbeggan form with Bally Longford in the Benchmark Hospitality Novice Chase at rain-swept Killarney last night.

Sweet-jumping Indevan delivers despite scare at third last

The only moment of real worry for Indevan’s backers came when Paul Townend tried to poke up the inside of Bally Longford at the third last.

He soon found whatever gap existed initially closing rather quickly and the sweet-jumping Indevan could have gone through the wing of the fence.

Townend then switched outside his rival to challenge and the race soon ended as a contest.

Indevan powered ahead between the last two fences and forged away to score by 12 lengths.

Commented Mullins: “He will have no trouble going to two miles and six and has speed and stamina. He likes that good ground and is a not a real winter horse.”

The stewards inquired into the third last fence incident and found Andrew Lynch, who rode Bally Longford, guilty of improper riding. He was suspended for four days.

The Owens McCarthy Claims Specialists Kingdom Gold Cup was won in fine style by bottom weight Princess Pearlita, racing from 2lbs out of the handicap. Michael Halford’s filly was given a superb trail-blazing drive by Conor Hoban, who got the fractions exactly right.

Toe The Line was doing all of her best work in the final furlong, but never threatened to close down the winner and was three parts of a length adrift at the line.

Commented Hoban: “There was no obvious front runner and I was happy to bowl along. She picked up well in the straight and it is great to ride a winner for the boss.”

The boss Halford missed the contest and instead was attending his son Josh’s ninth birthday party.

Christy Roche’s Bay Hill, who ran a nice sort of race over flights at Roscommon, was best for money in the Mossie Lane Farm Buildings Handicap and did the business under Fran Berry.

Carrying the J P McManus colours, Bay Hill found plenty for hard driving from the furlong pole to beat Kodiac’s Back by three quarters of a length.

Berry’s father Frank, McManus’ racing manager, did the honours and said: “It was workmanlike, but he got there. He (Roche) will probably find another handicap for him.”

Roche completed a welcome double when Royal Flight made a good start over fences in the J And B O’Sullivan Builders Mares’ Beginners Chase.

The daughter of King’s Theatre made every yard of the running, jumped beautifully for Jody McGarvey and had little trouble shaking off the attentions of Elsie from the last. The six-year-old, who is in foal to Dylan Thomas, is owned by McGarvey’s sister, Julie, and Roche’s wife, Noeleen.

Dermot Weld’s Bleu Ciel Et Rouge was all the rage for the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Median Auction Maiden and just about delivered, under a very strong drive from in-form Leigh Roche.

Perfectly drawn in one, the daughter of Manduro made all of the running, but was flat to the boards in the closing stages hold Before Long by a fast diminishing head. It was a 95th career success for Roche, who has now lost his right to claim.

Valour Minion, an 11-year-old, won his first ever race when taking the malton.com Handicap Chase.

Trained by Val O’Brien at Athenry, Co Galway, Valours Minon was driven into the lead going to the final fence by Danny Mullins and then held the late rush of Baby Whizz by a head.

It was a badly needed change of luck for O’Brien, enjoying his first success of the year.

The Bumper went to the Henry de Bromhead-trained Double Speak, who made every yard of the running in the hands of experienced French amateur, Jean Philippe Boisgontier, the first rider from that country to ever win a race at Killarney.

“He was brilliant, that was a super ride”, exclaimed de Bromhead. Regarding Double Speak, de Bromhead said: “He was impressive and galloped all the way to the line.”

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