There was a sensational start at Thurles yesterday when the hitherto unbeaten in nine races, Un de Sceaux, fell at the third last in the Killinan Beginners Chase.
Sent off at 1-8 — ridiculous odds, especially in this type of contest — Willie Mullins’ charge set a scorching pace from the start and his jumping was literally faultless.
Heading to three out, he was full of running and must have had a lead of some 20 lengths, looking sure to record a bloodless success.
But Un de Sceaux clipped the obstacle and gave Ruby Walsh no chance of keeping the partnership intact. The highly regarded and talented six-year-old was relatively unscathed and, thankfully, lives to fight another day.
Victory went to Jessica Harrington’s Mr Fiftyone, who kept going for Robbie Power to beat Smokey Joe Joe. `Reported Harrington: “The fences are there to be jumped and he jumped great. Robbie said they went Arkle pace, he will probably go to Leopardstown now.’’
Mullins and Walsh soon gained compensation when French-import, Max Dynamite, took the Cahir Maiden Hurdle.
Very uneasy in the market, he was odds-on in the morning, but returned at 5-4, Max Dynamite swept into the lead between the final two flights to beat the flattering Phil’s Magic.
Said Mullins: “He did it nicely and jumped and settled well. He will probably go out in trip, that’s what Ruby thought anyway.’’
The pair completed a quick double when Clondaw Court proved far too good for his rivals in the Rock Of Cashel Hurdle.
Walsh immediately allowed Clondaw Court to stride on and didn’t have to be in any way hard on him to beat Mireya by four lengths.
Commented Mullins: “He was going to go novice chasing, but is difficult to train at times and we thought we’d give him a few runs over hurdles.’’
Golantilla, a costly purchase by Barry Connell, has never quite fulfilled the hopes that were placed in him, but did prove good enough to take the modest Holycross Maiden Hurdle.
Taken to the front between the final two flights by Adrian Heskin, he was less than impressive in holding Ryansbrook by half a length.
Trainer, Tony Martin, said: “He did it nicely, it mightn’t have been the best maiden hurdle in the world, but hopefully will improve.’’
Enda Bolger’s Federici, runner-up behind Embracing Change on this track previously, made no mistake in the www.thurlesraces.ie Handicap Chase.
Initiating a double for Heskin, the winner appeared poised to take On The Shannon’s measure as the pair rose to the last in unison.
On The Shannon landed a little awkwardly, however, almost unseating Shane Crimin, and that decided the issue.
The Charles Byrnes yard landed a decent touch with the J P McManus-owned Leave At Dawn in the Horse And Jockey Handicap Hurdle.
He was available as high as 4-1 and 7-2 in the morning and soon developed into a sustained gamble, finding 11-10 at the death.
Leave At Dawn travelled beautifully through the contest and had his only real danger removed when Flemerelle, who was trying to mount a challenge, fell two out.
He did over jump at the final flight, but Davy Russell picked him up in a flash and the four-year-old was well clear at the line.
Said Byrnes: “We will tip away in handicaps and probably wait until Christmas.’’
The layers ended their day on a good note when Gordon Elliott’s 20-1 shot, Top Man Marty, ridden by Jamie Codd, got the best of the battle up the straight with fellow outsider, Westerner Point, in the Bumper.
Willie Mullins’ Kate Appleby Shoes went off favourite, but was a big drifter and struggled throughout on a surface that had become very testing.
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