Geraghty draws blank on comeback

The Henry de Bromhead-trained Sizing Platinum made a successful chasing debut and denied Barry Geraghty a win on his first day back after injury and as retained rider for J McManus when landing the Book Online At Beginners Chase in Limerick yesterday.

Geraghty draws blank on comeback

Ridden by Jonathan Burke, the Potts-owned seven-year-old raced prominently throughout, jumping well, and stayed on strongly from the second last to beat the Geraghty-ridden favourite Hash Brown by eight lengths.

“He was deadly out there and has definitely improved over fences,” said de Bromhead. “He’s a big, raw horse and is only coming to himself. I’d like to keep him to two miles, at least for the moment, but there are very few opportunities for a horse like him at this time of year – Galway and the Kilbegnet in Roscommon are the options.”

In typical style, trainer Brendan Duke declared: “He’s a star already and had to earn his stripes today – after all, it’s the day after American Independence day,” after progressive four-year-old Punch Bag beat his elders in the Mike Denver Plays Live On July 23rd Rated Hurdle, keeping Storm Away at bay.

Punch Bag was the second leg of a double for Andrew Lynch, who had guided the Anthony Mulholland-trained favourite Myles Ahead to a convincing win in the opening Celebrating The 5th July Maiden Hurdle.

Duke added: “He’s progressive and, if he’s lucky in life, will have a bright future. He’ll go to Ballinrobe in two weeks, for a four-year-old hurdle, and will have one more run before being left off until the spring – I’ll have to break that news to his owners.”

Mulholland, trainer of Myles Ahead, commented, “He’s been knocking on the door and the return to two miles helped him. He’ll probably go for a handicap in Galway.”

Ger Fox partnered the Noel Meade-trained Protaras to victory in the Tote-sponsored Galway Plate Trial, the Noel Meade-trained eight-year-old, third in a similar contest in Down Royal last time, getting home by a half-length from Dedoctorsdaughetr with Sir Harry cash only a head away third. “He can be quite lazy, so the blinkers helped him,” explained Fox. “We were worried that the ground might be gone a bit dead, so I kept him to the outside, on the best of the ground and he jumped from fence to fence.”

Galway is on the agenda for the Shark Hanlon-trained Abolitionist following his gutsy victory under Brian Hayes in the Supermacs Dooradoyle Handicap Chase. Paul Holden’s Flemensfirth gelding got the better of front-runner Rogue Angel before holding the late effort of Courtncatcher.

Hanlon stated: “He made a few mistakes so he had to be very brave and Brian gave him a great ride. He must have three miles, but there’s only one Galway and he’s definitely going there. If he doesn’t get into the Plate, he’ll run in the Blazers there.”

Jack Kennedy continued on his winning ways when partnering Dawerann, locally trained by Michael Hourigan, to victory over Chief Of Panama in the Handicap Hurdle. The winner will now head to Killarney.

Brian Hayes was banned for a total of four days following his win on Abolitionistm — two for his whip use and two for not reporting “anything which might have affected the running of his mount”.

Brian O’Connell received a three-day whip ban for his ride on Whiskey No Ice in the opening maiden hurdle.

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