Mark Walsh continued on his winning ways with a double for boss J P McManus in Limerick yesterday.
Walsh, who rode five winners at the recent Punchestown Festival, took a crashing fall at Killarney on Sunday (causing him to miss a winner, Baby Whizz) before bouncing back to score on Leave At Dawn there on Monday, scored on board Killer Miller for Noel Meade and the Edward O’Grady-trained Flaming Dawn.
Having failed to win a bumper, Killer Miller, wearing the McManus colours for the first time, justified 7/4 favouritism in emphatic style in the opening Book Online At www.limerickrces.ie Maiden Hurdle, forging clear to beat Too Many Notes in goo style.
“We’ll see what Noel wants to do, but he could get a break,” explained Frank Berry. “He won well and will jump a fence down the road.”
Odds-on favourite Vedettariat (Ruby Walsh) made his exit six fences form home in the beginners chase and, at the business end, 117-rated Flaming Dawn proved too strong for longtime leader Shantou Flyer and Is Love Alive to complete Walsh’s double.
“He jumped better today and it helped that the favourite fell,” commented O’Grady.
“I’ll speak to his owner and Frank (Berry) about plans.”
Another in-form rider Paul Townend, fresh from his big-race success on Waxies Dargle in Killarney on Sunday, partnered favourite Pyromaniac to a hard-earned victory over the Ruby Walsh-ridden Totally Dominant in the rated hurdle.
The 6/4 favourite had to battle to triumph by a half-length, prompting his trainer Tony Martin to comment: “He was entitled to win, but had to dig deep. He has a good bit of toe and that’s what made the difference. He’ll mix it for the summer, tipping away in conditions hurdles and on the flat.”
Out of luck with Vedettariat and Totally Dominant, Willie Mullins won the mares bumper with debutante God Thyne Tara which despite showing clear signs of inexperience, swept past front-running Ten Times Better inside the final furlong for an ultimately convincing win.
“She pricked her ears in front and was very green for one of ours,” commented winning rider Patrick Mullins. “So there should be plenty of improvement to come. I’d say she’ll go for a winners bumper (for mares) in Killarney.”
Trainer Billy Lanigan enjoyed a welcome success when 50/1 shot Accordion Twilight (Roger Loughran) got the better of No Kidding (66/1) and favourite Dollar And a Dream in the 80-102 handicap hurdle.
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