Eddie Harty continued his excellent strike-rate for owner J P McManus when Uaintseenothingyet landed the Next Racing At Fairyhouse January 30th Maiden Hurdle in Fairyhouse yesterday.
Having only his third run, the strapping son of Yeats got the better of favourite Burgas on the approach to the final flight before staying on to beat top-weight Space Cadet (conceding 11lb. to the winner) by two and a half lengths.
“He’s a lovely, big horse,” stated Harty. “He’s a baby, still very raw, but he’s nice. He has enough toe for two miles, but will probably get further than this (two and a half). We won’t be in any hurry with him. But chasing is where his future lies and we can look forward to that next season.”
Sandra Hughes has enjoyed many memorable moments at Fairyhouse and was on the mark again when Side Saddle, ridden by Jonathan Burke, made all to land the Online Discounts Mares Maiden Hurdle, in which favourite Commeragh Trix was pulled up (injured) between the last two flights.
Side Saddle prevailed by a length and three-wuarters, prompting her trainer to comment: “She ran a super race in Navan before Christmas, so we decided to go back for a bumper in Punchestown.
“But she’s just not a bumper mare. She’s very well-bred and did it well today. She’s a brilliant jumper and will stay further.”
Gordon Elliott continued to close-in on his target of a century of jumps winners in Ireland for the season when the Gigginstown-owned Altiepix, ridden by Bryan Cooer, justified 8/11 favouritism in the opening, three-mile beginners chase.
With the exception of a mistake at the first, the six-year-old jumped well and was value for more than his length and a half winning margin over Thekingofconnemara.
Having saddled his 92nd win of the season (jumps), Elliott said: “It was a weak enough contest, but he jumped and did it well. We’ll look for a small novice for him somewhere and I’d say he’ll be a better horse on better ground.”
Raised 10lb. for an emphatic recent win, over a short trip, on this track, the Tony Mullins-trained Shannak defied top-weight in the Your Clubs Fundraiser At Fairyhouse Handicap Hurdle.
Ridden by the trainer’s son Danny, fresh from his double in Warwick last Saturday, the 5/4 favourite came from off the pace and had to work hard before, ultimately, forging clear to beat Candle Island by five lengths.
“He goes on that ground and it was a good performance,” said the winning trainer. “But he’s had three runs in a month, so we’ll freshen him up and you won’t see him again for five or six weeks. He’ll probably get another belt from the handicapper and life will be getting tougher for him.”
Another father and son combination, Tom and Pat Foley, struck in the mares bumper when 14/1 shot Goaheadmakemyday shot clear early in the straight before holding the late surge of favourite She’s Otto by half a length.
“He used his head well today,” said the trainer of his son. “It’s good to win a bumper with this mare and I’m not sure what her owner (Michael O’Dowd) will want to do next with her.”
Patrick Mullins, rider of runner-up She’s Otto, picked-up a two-day whip ban.
In-form Jonathan Moore registered his first win as a 5lb. claimer (he lost his 7lb. allowance at Leopardstown on Sunday, when Cerca Trova got the better of Coole Craft and flattering favourite Exit Seven in the Sponsor A Race St Fairyhouse Handicap Hurdle, a first winner since June for trainer Jim Dreaper.
The Francis Flood-trained Sunsetstorise opened his account, at the twenty-second attempt, when romping to an eighteen lengths win over Hurricane Ivan in the Bobbyjo Bistro Handicap Chase, giving jockey Ger Fox his first win of 2016.
“They’ve been waiting three years for this, so they’ll enjoy it,” stated Fran Flood (Jnr.) about the No Man Syndicate from Grangecon, County Wicklow, which owns the eight-year-old. “It’s great to get a winner. He jumped great and did it well today, but he probably got the run of the race.”
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