Ikard at the double

Successful at Bellewstown on Thursday evening, the Noel Meade-trained Bose Ikard made it two wins in little more than 24 hours when landing the Walkers Snacks Handicap Hurdle in Down Royal last night, completing a double for Paul Townend.

Ikard at the double

Winner of a beginners chase in Roscommon earlier this month, Bose Ikard was completing an August hat-trick, taking command at the final flight before forging clear to beat I C Gold by six and a half lengths.

“He’s a summer horse and has turned the corner lately,” explained winning trainer Meade.

“It’s always a risk running them back-to-back, but he seemed fine this morning and this looked a worse race than the Bellewstown one. He’ll have a few weeks off before we regroup.

“He’s a real summer ground horse and could go back over fences.”

Townend had initiated his double when the Willie Mullins-trained Verawal, bought for €5,500 out of Michael Halford’s yard last October and carrying the colours of the Supreme Horse Racing Club, proved too strong for fellow 5/4 joint-favourite Caberete in the opening three-year-old maiden hurdle

Versatile ten-year-old Pires continued the tremendous form of trainer Tony Martin and Shane Shortall when justifying 7/4 favouritism in the featured Kerry Foods Rated Hurdle.

But the 5lb. claimer’s night turned sour when he sustained a broken collarbone in a crashing fall from Rock Shandy in the handicap hurdle won by Bose Ikard, his second fall of the night.

In double form at Bellewstown on Thursday, Shortall brought Pires from last to first to outpoint Theatre Mill in convincing style, having been forced to switch from the inside after the third last flight and opting to come around his six rivals before leading on the run-in and scoring by two and a quarter lengths.

“With Shane’s claim, he was rated to win and he loves that fast summer ground,” stated the winning trainer. “We’ll potter away with him, hurdles, fences or flat, as long as the ground is right.”

Shortall added: “He was the class horse in the race and the plan was to ride him with loads of confidence — that’s the way he likes it.”

Beaten on her hurdling debut at Ballinrobe, the Pat Flynn-trained Storm Away, a three-time winner on the level, proved a convincing winner of the Irwins Bakeries Mares Maiden Hurdle under Davy Russell.

Gavin Cromwell will try to find another suitable hurdle opportunity for Cristy’s Call (a welcome winner here for Danny Benson) before a return to the polytrack in Dundalk following his 20/1 win in the SHS Sales & Marketing Handicap Hurdle, commenting: “He’s a real flat horse — fast ground is the key to him.”

Local trainer Brian Hamilton captured the bumper with Denis Reddan’s five-year-old Our Sox, strongly ridden by Steven Clements to beat Lady In Motion by a half-length.

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