Tammys Hill, having a first outing since winning the Foxhunters at the Cheltenham festival in March, landed the Christmas Party Package Handicap Hurdle at Cork yesterday.
The Cheltenham hero is trained in Co Down by Liam Lennon and fully justified the decision to send him on a journey that took five hours.
“We came here on Saturday and the horse stayed overnight,’ said Lennon. “We were well looked after by lovely people.’
Andrew Lynch was in the plate and he produced Tammys Hill to challenge in the straight.
The nine-year-old, however, jumped the last two flights as if they were fences and, momentarily, handed the initiative early on the flat to Pierlow.
But Tammys Hill fought back in fine style and nailed Pierlow close home to score by a short head.
Continuing Lennon said: “He was on a lovely mark and I thought, instead of running him in a schooling race at Fairyhouse, it was better to give him a chance here. The plan now is to head to the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.’
The featured Cork Racecourse Kinsale Handicap Chase produced a terrific finish, with Arthur Moore’s Gentleman Duke getting the better of fellow joint favourite, Beckwith Star, the verdict a short head.
It really was a battle of swaying fortunes from the back of the final fence, with David Casey’s charge finally getting the best of the tussle.
“It’s a great pot to win, I’m delighted,’ remarked Moore, whose inmate raced from 2lbs out of the handicap. “He will now run in the Leopardstown November Handicap next Sunday.’
Philip Fenton’s Band Of Blood, having a first outing since May and making his debut over fences, kept up the momentum for Bryan Cooper when taking the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Novice Chase.
This shaped as a useful contest, with Band Of Blood finding plenty for Cooper driving to beat the very promising Lots Of Memories by a neck.
Said Fenton: “He is bred to be a chaser, that might be his game. He was just about fit enough to start off and, I’d say, a winners’ of one will be next.’
Punters got off to a bad start when Mouse Morris’ ex-winning point-to-pointer, Alpha Des Obeaux, failed to justify favouritism in the opening corkracecourse.ie Maiden Hurdle.
He travelled at, or near, the front, for most of the journey, but had no answer to Dessie Hughes’ Vote Of Confidence from the last.
Hughes is currently fighting serious illness and was represented by his daughter, Sandra.
Regarding her father, Ms Hughes reported: “He’s good, doing really well. This horse has had a few problems, but we’ve got them sorted out now. He will handle softer ground than this as well.’
Punters, at least most of them, fared no better in the INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Novice Hurdle with victory going to the 8-1 shot, Talk The Lingo.
Successful in a maiden at Roscommon previously, the eight-year-old is trained at Knockane, Castlemartyr by Joe Hennessy.
Favourite, Bosman Rule, tried to make all, but his jumping was atrocious and Barry Cash had no trouble pushing Talk The Lingo past going to the second last to easily beat Shantou Flyer.
Commented Hennessy: “Barry said he stayed very well, he will probably come back here in two weeks for another three mile novice hurdle.’
The Bumper was won by a potentially smart horse in Noel Meade’s Ice Cold Soul, successful in his only outing in point-to-points.
He travelled like a dream for Nina Carberry in the straight and was always proving too good for Philip Fenton’s Akito, whose turn may not be long delayed.
“He’s a lovely horse and there is definitely improvement in him too,’ said Carberry. “He couldn’t have done it any better.’
Captain Carleton, who had been somewhat disappointing in maidens, eased to the front between the last two flights for Sean Flanagan to easily take the Ticket Sales Online Handicap Hurdle.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved