Boy gallops to Punchestown glory

Blueberry Boy sprung something of a surprise when shrugging off a 250-day absence to land the Volkswagen Craddockstown Novice Chase.

Blueberry Boy sprung something of a surprise when shrugging off a 250-day absence to land the Volkswagen Craddockstown Novice Chase.

Andrew Lynch was content to settle the seven-year-old in second place for much of the Grade Two contest, some way behind the pace-setting Gemini Lucy.

He asked the 16-1 chance to take closer order with four fences left to jump and was clearly going best when nudging into the lead approaching the final two obstacles.

Paul Stafford’s charge responded to his rider’s urgings from that point on and saw his race out in game style to hold the rallying Gemini Lucy (100-30) by two and a half lengths.

Sky’s The Limit, winner of the 2005 Coral Cup at Cheltenham, was none too fluent at some of his fences but plugged on to claim third under Barry Geraghty.

Conna Castle was sent off the 11-8 favourite but was well held in third when taking a crashing fall at the penultimate fence.

Stafford said of his winner: “I couldn’t be happier and he did it very well. He’s schooled very well beforehand and only made one mistake but Andrew said that was more his fault.

“He had a setback about six weeks to a month ago but we’re aiming towards the Drinmore (December 3) now. He runs best when fresh and he doesn’t travel well so I don’t think he’ll go to Cheltenham.”

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