Jim Dreaper pair lead the way at Leinster National

Venitien De Mai and Goonyella provided Jim Dreaper and owners Ann and Alan Potts with a one-two in the €50,000 Woodlands 100 Club Leinster National, the feature race of yesterday’s action in Naas.

Jim Dreaper pair lead the way at Leinster National

Ridden by 5lbs claimer Jonathan Moore and sent off 100/30 favourite, Venitien De Mai made most of the running and stayed on stoutly up the hill to beat his stable-companion by six lengths.

Futuramic took third.

“We couldn’t see Goonyella beating him at those weights,” Dreaper said. “Venitien De Mai won four point-to-points, but was very disappointing over hurdles. But he seems to be improving with every run over fences. The plan is to go for the Irish National.”

Goonyella, winner of the Midlands National in Uttoxeter last year and narrowly beaten in the Scottish National, remains very much on course for the Crabbie’s Grand National in Aintree.

“It was a great result and Goonyella’s run was very satisfying,” Dreaper said. “He’s been trained all year for Aintree and we’ll be hoping for a wet week over there. He’s a great stayer.”

Sub Lieutenant, the 9/1 outsider of the three Gigginstown House Stud runners, made all to land the Grade Three Naas Directors Plate Novice Chase, sparking double for trainer Sandra Hughes and David Mullins.

Wearing a visor for the first time, the seven-year-old jumped well in front and, when tackled by favourite Tell Us More at the final fence, stayed on dourly to lead home a one-two for Gigginstown by two lengths.

“He was very sweet in front and the visor and bit of better ground helped,” Hughes said.

“Once he can dictate things, he’s very good — he likes doing things his own way.

“He deserved to get off the mark over fences. He ran very well in Aintree last year, so the three-miler there might be the race for him.”

The Hughes/Mullins double was completed when Total Recall, in the colours of the Slaneyville Syndicate, landed the Naas Supporters Handicap Hurdle at the expense of longshot Aengus.

Running in his second handicap, the seven-year-old Westerner gelding prevailed by a neck.

Hughes said: “He had a little setback early in the season, so we decided to keep him over hurdles for now. He needs further and will go chasing next season.

“He has been hanging badly in his races, but was as straight as a gun-barrel today He obviously needs to go left-handed.”

The Noel Meade-trained Genie In Abottle provided Gigginstown with the middle leg of a treble when outstaying odds-on favourite Call It Magic in the three-mile Panoramic Restaurant Maiden Hurdle, Bryan Cooper’s mount edging clear on the run-in to triumph by three and a half lengths.

“We were talking about going for another bumper, but I don’t see him as a hurdler and think he’ll be going straight over fences next season,” explained Meade. “He’s such a big, long horse that, if he takes to chasing, a fence could be worth two lengths to him.”

Probably the best prospect on show was Sutton Place, the 12/1 outsides of five runners, who landed the listed Irish Racing Writers Kingsfurze Novice Hurdle in great style for JP McManus, Gordon Elliott and Barry Geraghty.

Having only his third run and second over hurdles, the five-year-old Mahler gelding stretched clear in impressive style to slam Royal Caviar by six and a half lengths.

“I’d say he’s a proper horse, a real chaser,” Elliott said.

“He had a good run first time in Navan and came forward well to win his bumper in Fairyhouse. He’s improving all the time.”

Elliott completed a double when Shattered Love, winner of her only point-to-point for Pat Doyle, proved best in the Tipper Road Mares Pro-Am Flat Race.

A second winner for 16-year-old Luke McGuinness, who is now based with Elliott, the daughter of Yeats got the better of Freeway Space in convincing style.

Elliott said: “She’s a nice filly but I was nervous about running her because she’s big and weak and hadn’t done a lot. Luke deserves plenty of credit — he was very good on her. I don’t know if she’ll run in another bumper but, if she does, it’ll probably be in Aintree.”

Caolaneoin, trained by Shane Nolan and confidently ridden by Robbie Colgan, opened his account over fences, at the 16th attempt, when proving an emphatic winner of the two-mile beginners event.

Nolan said: “He has plenty of ability but had plenty of problems. This was nearly his last chance. Robbie gave him a super ride — he left him alone and the horse jumped brilliant.”

Both Luke McGuinness (careless riding on bumper winner Shattered Love) and Robbie Colgan (excessive use of the whip on Futuramic) both picked-up four days bans.

Andrew Lynch was removed to hospital for x-rays on his left shoulder following a fall from Theophillus in the handicap hurdle.

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