Paul Carberry was seen at his patient and masterful best on board Xsquared in the featured Fast Shipping Bellewstown Handicap Hurdle last night.
Following-up a recent win at Ballinrobe, the Joanna Morgan-trained six-year-old jumped fluently and came from off the pace to track Casimir Road between the last two flights before pouncing, under pressure, on the run-in to triumph by a half-length.
The winning trainer commented: “He loves that fast ground and he’s a very good jumper. He’ll have no problem jumping a fence, but we’ll stay over hurdles for the moment. We’ll look for something in Galway for him.”
Carberry, who picked-up a one-day whip ban on Xsquared, failed by three-quarters of a length to complete a double on Gordon Elliott’s 2/1 favourite Quatron in the finale, denied by 40/1 shot Portrade, ridden by Dave Crosse and a first winner since May 2010 for trainer George Stanley.
The Guinness Galway Hurdle is on the agenda for the Dessie Hughes-trained four-year-old Indian icon following his victory under Mark Enright in the three-runner Anglo printers Novices Hurdle.
In the flat action, apprentice Leigh Roche continued in flying form, making all on Dermot Weld’s Wateed in the opening maiden, the Galway man’s seventeenth win of the season.
Another apprentice-in-form - Ross Coakley - swooped late on John Larkin’s 20/1 shot Ariahey to beat Ginger genie (rider Emmet McNamara got a three-day whip ban).
The versatile four-year-old Lindenhurst, ridden by Gary Carroll, registered a popular local success for trainer John McConnell when foiling favourite Snowmame in the City North Handicap.
Meanwhile it was a night of firsts for trainers John Hayes and Yvonne Latta in Wexford.
Hayes, who is based in Croagh, County Limerick, saddled his first winner when Kilmurry Kid, ridden by Ian McCarthy, romped to a convincing thirteen lengths victory over Imperial Joey in the Carrickbyrne Handicap Chase, prompting Hayes to admit: “The ground was too fast and he probably needed the run the last day. I was delighted when I heard the rain had arrived this morning.”
Yvonne Latta, who trains in Ballycarney, County Wexford stated: “It’s nice to do it on home soil,” after Most Chaste (Davy Condon) gave her a first success under rules in the Tuskar Rock Beginners Chase, adding: “It’s a real family effort. This mare is so tough and genuine and gives her all every day.”
The featured Hook Head Chase produced a good tussle between the Henry de Bromhead-trained Lord Ben and favourite Midnight Game.
Lord Ben made the running under Andrew Lynch, made his only mistake at the second last and was narrowly headed on the short run-in before showing greater battling qualities than the runner-up and rallying to score by a neck.
“He’s so genuine and tough,” said de Bromhead. “It was a good performance, giving all the weight to the second horse. I’m not sure whether John will be keen on Galway and we might wait for Tramore. He could go back over hurdles.”
Back at the scene of the Shield lead-cloth debacle at the last meeting, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Beach Of Falesa (Robbie Power) produced a slick display of jumping and outclassed her rivals in the opening mares maiden hurdle.
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