Veteran Cadogan, which belatedly got off the mark over fences on this track two weeks ago, made all to land the valuable Irish Stallion Farms Novice Handicap Chase at Navan yesterday, the second leg of a double for trainer Jim Dreaper.
Ridden by 3lb. claimer Keith Donoghue, who came tantalisingly close to Cheltenham Festival success on Toner D’Oudairies on Friday, the 12-year-old, whose career has been dogged by leg trouble, jumped superbly in front and kept going well to beat favourite Ballyburke (7/1 to 4/1) by two and a quarter lengths.
Dreaper declared: “I’m delighted for his owner (Jarlath Conway), who has been so patient. From day one, he just wanted to jump. Like most of the best jumpers, they just do it themselves. His half-brother Mely Moss was second in a Grand National (to Papillon in 2000). He was a natural too but, like this fellow, suffered from leg trouble.
“Keith gave this horse a good, positive ride. And he didn’t stop coming up the hill. So he deserves an entry in the Irish Grand National now.”
Original favourite The Bishop Looney jumped deliberately throughout and dropped out of contention before being pulled up after the third last. He was later reported to be suffering from pulled muscles.
Dreaper’s double was initiated in the opening Dunsany Maiden Hurdle when Go All The Way, in the Sizing Europe colours of Alan and Ann Potts, made every yard of the running to beat the flattering Rear View by a length and a quarter.
The winning trainer said: “He might have one more run, at Fairyhouse or Punchestown, but has always looked a chaser.”
Successful at Limerick’s Christmas meeting before flopping at Clonmel last month, the Liam Burke-trained My Murphy bounced back when getting up close home to foil the Ruby Walsh-ridden Marasonnien in the Irish Stallion Farms Novice Hurdle.
Having dictated the pace from an early stage, Walsh appeared to have slipped the field after the second last. But, under a determined Robbie Power, My Murphy stayed on strongly on the run-in to collar Willie Mullins’ charge in the dying strides and score by a neck, the pair finishing 11 lengths clear of third-placed Tom Horn with odds-on favourite Folsom Blue, probably feeling the effects of a tough season and making a succession of mistakes, a well-beaten fourth.
“Paul gave him a peach of a ride,” declared trainer Noel Meade after Paul Carberry partnered gambled-on Protaras (5/1 to 11/4) to an all-the-way win in the Follow Navan On Facebook Maiden Hurdle.
Carberry appeared to judge the pace of the race to perfection as the blinkered son of Lemon Drop Kind held the late challenge of uneasy favourite Simon Gray and Giant’s Quest by a neck and a head.
Disappointed by Folsom Blue’s display earlier (set for a summer break), Conor O’Dwyer enjoyed better luck when handicap debutant Competitive Edge, an uneasy 11/4 favourite, landed the Slane Handicap Hurdle at the expense of Munsaab.
The JP McManus-owned five-year-old took over from front-running Cottrelsbooley and stayed on to triumph by a length and a quarter.
Davy Russell was seen at his patient best on board the Eddie Cawley-trained Molly’s Boy which justified 3/1 favouritism in the www.navanracecourse.ie Handicap Chase, asserting at the last before beating Good Luck Chuck and Scavenger Lad.
Mark Enright deputised, successfully, for the absent Robbie McNamara on the Harry Rogers-trained Irish Thistle in the bumper, getting the better of front-running You Must Know Me by four and a half lengths.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved