Willie Mullins’ Tarla proved far too good for Rebel Fitz in the www.racinghomeforeaster.com Hurdle at cold and wet Cork yesterday when thousands of students were on site.
David Casey set a decent gallop in front on Tarla and had Rebel Fitz in trouble a fair way from home. To his credit, however, Rebel Fitz kept battling and arrived in the straight to have every chance.
But Casey had saved plenty and only had to nudge out Tarla from the final flight to score by a comfortable five lengths.
Commented Casey: “She did everything right and is a decent mare, it is hard to make all in that wind. She jumped well, saw it out well and that will have done her confidence good, after taking two falls over fences.’’
Michael Winters seemed a little disappointed with Rebel Fitz. He said: “I would call that a middle of the road run.
“He was fierce relaxed in himself and I wouldn’t blame the ground or the distance. I’ll have a look at how he is, but Fairyhouse may come too soon. He will probably go to Punchestown, but will be chasing in May.’’
Tom Foley fulfilled one of his great ambitions when saddling the JP McManus- owned Never Enough Time to justify favouritism in the Walk Of Shame Furlong Maiden Hurdle.
“Since I started training, I always wanted to have a horse that carried JP’s colours’’, reported Foley. “It didn’t have to win, I just wanted a horse that he owned.’’
Patiently handled by Alan Crowe, Never Enough Time coasted to the front after the final flight to easily beat Harlekin.
Continuing Foley said: “He’s very light and not a strong horse. We’ll see how he comes out of this before deciding what’s next.’’
Edward O’Grady had his first winner since Staying Article scored at Cork in November when Acapulco took the UCC Horse Racing Society Handicap Hurdle.
Ridden by Barry Geraghty, Acapulco got to the front shortly after the second last to beat Fahamore by a length and a half.
“I want to thank Mr Higgins (Joe) for being so patient, this horse has had leg trouble at least twice, ’’ said O’Grady.
Charlie Swan introduced a really nice newcomer in The Game Changer to land the Bumper, under a typically polished Nina Carberry drive.
Held up behind for much of the trip, The Game Changer cruised through to lead a furlong down to beat fellow first-timer, Flags Pass.
Said Swan: “He’s only a four-year-old and I was very, very worried about the ground.
The Landrover Bumper (Punchestown) is the plan. I told Nina to ride him with loads of confidence, he has plenty speed.’’
Clar Na Mionn, who had been knocking on the door for a little while, scored for the Galway stable of Val O’Brien in the Martinstown Opportunity Maiden Hurdle.
Beautifully handled by the capable Shane Butler, Clar Na Mionn got to the front after the penultimate flight and soon scampered clear to beat Tabac Brun by four and threequarters of a length.
Peace In the West showed all of the right qualities, this was a real slog, in the Best Dressed Easter Sunday Handicap Hurdle.
Enterprisingly handled by Mark Walsh, the Francis Flood-trained six-year-old was always near the front, then dug deep to forge away between the last two flights and battled on strongly late as Coolking tried to close.
The moderate CIT SU Handicap Hurdle was won in good style by the Liz Doyle- trained Rafi De Triana.
Kevin Sexton was in the plate and this was over once he eased the 16-1 shot into the lead coming away from the third last.
*Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has confirmed the appointment of Joe Keeling as chairman of Horse Racing Ireland, in succession to Denis Brosnan.
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