Vics Canvas breaks his duck in style

Vics Canvas, who had never previously won over fences, broke his duck in style when running away with the Paddy Power Cork Grand National at Cork yesterday.

Vics Canvas breaks his duck in style

He is owned by the Bodeen Bandits Partnership, one of whose members is well-known At The Races presenter, Gary O’Brien.

The 11-year-old is trained in Co Meath by Dermot McLoughlin, enjoying his biggest success to date and a son of the late Peter McLoughlin, who used to ride for the legendary Tom Dreaper.

The son of Old Vic got a beautiful drive from Conor Maxwell, 27 years-of-age and more than capable when afforded the opportunity.

Truth to tell, however, Vics Canvas won with any amount in hand, by no less than ten lengths, which could have been more had Maxwell so desired.

Indeed, Vics Canvas could be mapped as the likely winner a fair way out and off the home turn it looked as if he had just joined in. In front shortly after the third last, he lengthened away to beat the gallant pair, Dushrembrandt and Unoccupied.

Said McLoughlin: “I would like to have got a run into him in a handicap, but couldn’t the way the ground was.

“He’s small and can’t handle anything over 11-0. He has suffered from ulcers, but is a clear-winded horse.”

When it was put to him that his charge was certain to take a substantial rise in the weights, McLoughlin responded: “He will be a 12-year-old after Christmas and I’m not worried about that.

“He might go for the Troytown (Navan) next, or wait for the Paddy Power at Leopardstown.”

The progressive Martello Tower produced a gritty display to take the Grade 3 Paddy Power Collect Winning Bets In Any Shop EBF Novice Hurdle.

He was returning from a break of 174 days, but Mags Mullins had him fit and well to do the business, under a polished drive from Adrian Heskin.

The winner edged ahead over six out and kept finding up the straight to hold market leader, Ask Vic, by three parts of a length. Ask Vic’s rider, Ruby Walsh, lost his whip at the final flight.

Commented Mullins: “He is a good tough horse, I think he’s special. The staff at home and Danny (Mullins) have done a great job preparing him and Adrian did a great job riding him.”

Walsh lost his whip again, this time after the final fence, but it made no difference on this occasion, as he drove Perfect Gentleman to victory in the Grade 3 Paddy Power Cash Card Click And Collect EBF Novice Chase.

Henry de Bromhead, on the mark with three winners at Naas, was responsible for the well-backed favourite, Sadler’s Wings, but a couple of indifferent leaps cost him.

He dipped badly at the back of the first, but headed to the second last looking the most likely winner.

Sadler’s Risk got in far too tight to the obstacle, however, and Walsh seized his chance to drive Perfect Gentleman past on the run in to score going away by three lengths.

Said Mullins: “I own the horse myself, I never got him sold.

“He’s not a bad sort, is well able to jump and will be upped in grade now.”

Un Beau Matin, who blundered badly five and on was immediately pulled up, had to be put down.

Nichols Canyon, a winner three times on the flat for John Gosden, made a successful debut over flights, initiating a double for Mullins and Walsh, in the Paddy Power Betting Shops Maiden Hurdle.

He only had a length to spare over Baily Cloud, but was worth a lot more than that, after Walsh just asked him to do enough on the run in.

“He was doing nice work at home, experience was my only worry,” said Mullins. “I am very happy with what he did.”

Robert Tyner continued his good run of form when Pulled Mussel toyed with the opposition on the way to taking the Paddy Power Maiden Hurdle.

Partnered by Andrew McNamara, the winner gradually closed down clear leader Mike McCann in the straight and only the bare minimum was requested from the saddle on the run in.

“He’s a nice horse,” reported Tyner. “It took him time to come to himself in point-to-points, but is a strong horse now. He will probably come back here for a novice hurdle in December.”

Adrian Heskin, who was unshipped from Safe Exit at the start, missed the rest of the day and went to hospital to have an X-ray on a lung.

Willie Austin’s Emcon, ridden by Jane Mangan, edged ahead early in the straight and was soon in control to easily land the Bumper.

For Ms Mangan it was a welcome turn. “I haven’t ridden a winner since July and not had a ride for a month,” she exclaimed.

That is quite inexplicable, considering she remains one of the most talented amateurs in the country.

Burning Issues followed his recent win at Gowran Park by streaking away with the Paddy Power Daily Double Odds Specials Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Mikey Fogarty.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox