Punters enjoyed a bonanza in Ballinrobe last night as five favourites, including two odds-on shots, obliged.
The Mick Winters trained mare Missunited set the ball rolling for favourite-backers when justifying odds of 4/7 in the opening Tote Jackpot Races 3 to 6 Maiden. Sent to the front by Seamus Heffernan after a half-mile, the five-year-old stayed on stoutly when pressed by Train Of Thought to score by almost three lengths.
Winters said: “She laboured a bit in the ground, but I’m delighted. That’ll keep her sound. She’ll be fit and flying after that and will probably head for Listowel, for a novice hurdle.”
The other successful odds-on winner was the Tommy Carmody-trained Hartside, which completed a hat-trick when grinding out a neck victory over Marlos Moment in the McWilliam Park Hotel Claremorris Handicap.
Recording his third win in ten days, having scored previously at Tramore and Wexford, the Ben Curtis-ridden Montjeu gelding delighted his trainer who commented: “That was a real grueller — ground conditions are terrible. He had to work hard, but I knew he’d keep going. He’s had three quick runs and deserves a short break. He could go for one of the good staying handicaps at the end of the season.”
The other successful favourites in the flat action were Jpevie, which continued trainer John McConnell’s rich vein of form by landing the Ballinrobe On Course Vets Rated Race convincingly under Gary Carroll and the Joanna Morgan-trained Daigreen (Pat Smullen) which followed-up a course and distance win last month in the Friends Of Wesetrn Alzheimers Race.
Carroll said of Jpevie: “He travels well in that ground and has gears. He picked up well and is improving and might win another,” while Daigreen is set for a quick reappearance in Killarney tomorrow, his trainer having declared, again: “I love this place. My horses seem to fly around here.”
Without a win since December 2009, the Edward O’Grady-trained Osana justified 11/8 favouritism in the Water Towers Chase, scoring readily in the hands of Mark Walsh.
Owner J P McManus’ Racing Manager Frank Berry commented: “It was great to find a race like this for him. He ran respectably in the Plate and might go back to Galway, or wait for the Kerry National.”
In the other chase action, Galway-based Mayo man John Monroe saddled the well-backed second favourite Muzak (Mikey Butler) to win the Corrib Oil Handicap Chase.
The tough and consistent grey, recording his first success over fences, will return to Galway in two weeks, for either a handicap hurdle or chase.
Niall ‘Slippers’ Madden partnered the Noel Meade-trained Jakros to victory over Royal Sam in the beginners chase, in which odds-on The Great Shanghai, a close third and holding every chance, blundered and unseated Mattie Bowes at the second last.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved