Willie Mullins’ Cadspeed, having his first run since May and backed from 6-1 to 9-2, was a desperately unlucky loser of the Kilsheeelan Beginners’ Chase at Clonmel yesterday.
Ruby Walsh was in the plate and soon had him bowling along in front. Cadspeed jumped beautifully and headed for the final fence all of 15 lengths clear and full of running.
But, horror of horrors for those who helped shorten his price, he got in tight to the obstacle and paid the ultimate penalty. That handed the contest to Colm Murphy’s Dream Function, who took advantage to beat Mazuri Cowboy by 12 lengths.
The daughter of King’s Theatre was having a first start for Murphy. She was previously in the care of Philip Hobbs in England and, indeed, is a full-sister to Hobbs’ ultra-smart chaser, Captain Chris. “She seems to be a very nice mare”, reported Murphy.
“Robbie (Power) said she hated the ground and we will see a nicer horse on nicer ground. She will go for a novice chase at Christmas.”
The uneasy favourite, The Real Article, was tracking the leaders when falling at the seventh.
Mullins’ Glens Melody went off at very prohibitive odds in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Mares Hurdle, but carried the burden with aplomb.
Patrick Mullins allowed her stroll into the lead shortly after two out and she eased clear to score by six and a half lengths.
Commented Mullins senior: “She’s a nice relaxed mare and we will now find a winners’ of one for her at Christmas.”
The Mullins father and son combination completed a double when Ballycasey easily landed the Next Meeting Thursday February 7th Maiden Hurdle.
A drifter from early offers of 2-5 to 4-6, Ballycasey eased ahead starting out for the final time and outclassed modest opposition to win with plenty in reserve.
“He jumps well, will have no trouble going up and trip and is a chaser in the making”, reported Mullins senior.
The relatively experienced Crouching Harry proved too good for Mullins’ long odds-on Fatcatinthehat in the Powerstown three-year-old Maiden Hurdle.
Partnered by Michael Butler, Crouching Harry made practically all of the running, holding on by half a length as the favourite closed with every stride on the run in.
“He deserved that, he runs well every day”, said trainer, Eoin Doyle. “He picked up nicely and we will now try and find a winners’ of one for him at Christmas.”
Crouching Harry is owned by the three-member Suir Syndicate, one of whom is the former Kilkenny hurler, Christy Heffernan.
Tom Foley produced a decent training performance when Playing justified a fair degree of confidence in the ring in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.
The ex-French nine-year-old hadn’t run since June of last year, but stripped in good shape to win in a canter.
Ridden by Shane Butler, he had this in safe keeping all the way up the straight and only had to be pushed out to easily beat War Of Worlds.
“At last”, exclaimed Foley. “He fractured a hind leg and had to have screws inserted, he’s a fair horse, if staying sound.”
Drogheda trainer, George Kingston, was on the mark with well-backed Ros Brin in the Clonmel Racecourse Supporters’ Club Beginners Chase.
Stephen Gray allowed her lead going to the fifth and she kept finding in the straight to score decisively from Tadhg.
“It’s nice to get a winner”, said Kingston. “I was a little concerned about two miles, she wants further.
” A handicap will be next and I’m delighted for Stephen, who has come up to school her a couple of times.”
David Casey gave Arthur Moore’s Fever Pitch a powerful drive to land the Fethard Handicap Chase.
A poor third heading to the last, Fever Pitch found plenty for pressure to mug the flattering pair, Killcara Boy and Jack Bene.
Said Moore: “That was a great ride by David and he seems to be a horse who is best after a break.”
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