The Charles Byrnes-trained Shanpallas, better known as a chaser, justified 11/8 favouritism in the McHale Coranna Handicap Hurdle while King Leon, representing Aidan and Joseph O’Brien, got the better of stable-companion Carriganog in the McHale Mayo National.
Ridden by Barry Geraghty, Shanpallas overcame a mistake at the second last before battling to beat top-weight Cliff House by a half-length in the Coranna, prompting his trainer to declare: “It’s a lovely pot to win,” before adding, “He ran well over hurdles in Punchestown and brought that here. He’s a summer horse and will be going back over fences.
“We might look for something similar before Galway. He’ll probably run in the Plate- he was fifth last year and is entitled to another crack at it.”
Barry Geraghty, retained rider to McManus, was on board joint-favourite Carriganog in the ‘National’.
But the seven-year-old failed by a length and a half to cope with stable-companion King Leon, enterprisingly ridden by Mark Walsh to make all and produce an excellent display of jumping.
Frank Berry, representing McManus, commented: “All credit to Ballinrobe for putting on two good races like this. That one was easy to watch from the second last.
“He jumped great and Mark gave him a cheery ride. We’ll look for something similar for both horses, maybe something like the Midlands National in Kilbeggan.”
Jack Kennedy who rode out his claim here on Monday, followed-up with a double on Carrig Cathal and Tiger Roll for his boss Gordon Elliott, bringing his tally for the season to eleven
Carrig Cathal captured the McHale F5500 Baler Maiden Hurdle, stretching clear to slam favourite Bright Tomorrow by twelve lengths.
The winner carries the colours of Tom Doran, carried to Cheltenham Festival success by Doran’s Pride (won his bumper at Ballinrobe).
The winning trainer said: “It’s grand to win with him and good for Jack. He was a bit disappointing the last day in Kilbeggan, but probably didn’t handle the track. We’ll keep him going for the summer.”
Elliott was particularly pleased by the chase debut success of 2014 JCB Triumph Hurdle winner Tiger Roll in the McHale Fusion 3 Plus Beginners Chase, the 5/2 joint-favourite drawing away in the closing stages to beat Buster Dan Dan by eight lengths.
“On his Triumph form, he was the class horse in the race, but he’s had a lot of problems and has been hard to train.
It’s just nice to get his head in front again. He’ll stay further and we’ll keep him going through the summer – there’s a good programme of novice chases for horses like him and we did well with The Game Changer in them last year.”
Elliott went onto complete a treble and provide Mayo man Tom Doran with his second success of the evening when Sanibel Island, ridden by Nina Carberry, justified 6/4 favouritism in the bumper.
In a rough race, the winner made his move around the outside with two furlongs to race and, in the straight, kept going well to beat Dawn Raider by three-quarters of a length.
“That caps a great evening,” stated Elliott. “He’s a grand horse, only four and still immature. He should be able to win a winners’ bumper during the summer – he could be a horse for Perth. He’ll be a nice horse over hurdles next year.”
Successful with Reafadda on Monday, trainer John Ryan was on the mark again when 25/1 shot Bitview Colin, ridden by Danny Mullins, fought tenaciously to beat Delegate by a half-length in the McHale Fusion 3 rated Novice Hurdle before surviving a Stewards Enquiry.