The Eoin Doyle-trained Mazuri Cowboy proved a shock and fortunate winner of a dramatic Lyons Of Limerick Jaguar Land Rover Hurdle at Limerick yesterday.
The 40/1 shot edged past front-running Real Steel turning for home but had been headed by the strong-travelling odds-on favourite Renneti (Emmet Mullins) when the Royal Bond runner-up lunged at the second last flight and paid the penalty, taking a crashing fall and hampering the struggling Real Steel.
The Martin Ferris-ridden Mazuri Cowboy enjoyed a clear lead at the last but idled and tired on the run-in, allowing the rallying Real Steel, under Brian O’Connell, to close. And, in a dramatic finish, the line came just in time for the Paul Holden-owned Mazuri Cowboy, which held on by a neck.
Doyle explained: “He did exactly the same when he won his beginners chase here last year — he got lonely in front and pulled himself up.
“He loves that soft ground. And I’m always happy to have a winner over Christmas.”
Brian Cawley moved within a single winner of losing his 7lb. claim when partnering top-weight Make A Track to an emphatic 15-length win in the valuable Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase.
Charlie Swan’s charge, in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud, was in command when his nearest pursuer Immediate Response fell at the last.
The seven-year-old, which beat Castle Wings (receiving 19lb.) was registering his second win over fences.
Cawley commented: “He loves soft ground and is a good horse. We were in front a bit longer than I planned, but the loose horse helped him concentrate.”
Punters got it right in the opening Roches Feeds Maiden Hurdle as the three co-favourites turned into the straight together.
But Indian File, which Christy Roche trains for JP McManus, had dictated the pace and was always travelling better than his challengers, The Mighty Milan and Theos Well. And he duly stretched clear to triumph impressively by seventeen lengths.
“He handled the heavy ground well and is a nice horse,” said winning rider Alan Crowe. “We think a bit of him and he’ll be a smashing three-mile chaser in time.”
After intended rider Kevin Sexton opted to ride Fire Belt, trainer Jimmy Mangan had no hesitation in calling up his daughter Jane to ride course winner Pumbaa in the Goggin Buckley Handicap Hurdle. And the decision paid off as Pumbaa held on gamely in a finish of necks to beat Vincent Row and Not For Converting.
Niall ‘Slippers’ Madden, banned for seven days on Thursday, picked-up another two days for his use of the whip on runner-up Vincent Row.
“He loves that ground and, after I was told Kevin Sexton couldn’t ride him, I found a good sub!”, stated Mangan.
Debutante Kayf Hampshire recorded another notable family success for the father-and-son partnership of Liam and Johnny Burke, in the mares’ bumper, the daughter of Kayf Tara proving too strong for Philip Fenton’s Whisper Rock.
Trainer Liam quipped: “She’s owned by my farrier Jim O’Leary, and his wife. And he put “go-faster shoes” on her today. We hadn’t looked beyond today, but she’ll probably go for a winners’ bumper.”
And Derek O’Connor, on bumper duty at Leopardstown on Thursday and again today, partnered the Willie Murphy-trained Burren River to victory in a grief-filled Earl Of Harrington Memorial Maiden Hunters’ Chase.
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