‘RINGHILL Lady’, trained at Blackwater by James Lambe, sprang a 25/1 shock in the first division of the Adare Manor Hurdle with Conor Orr aboard. ‘Natural Breeze’ attempted to make all, only to be caught in the closing stages by the winner – despite hanging left late and was opening her account at the 12th attempt fitted with first time blinkers and had only been third reserve in the race.
Orr said: “All James (Lambe) pretty much said was to ride her with loads of confidence down the rail and ride her for a bit of luck. The blinkers are a big help to her, as they make her concentrate a bit more. She has got a win now – you never know what it can do for them.”
Recently crowned champion conditional jockey, Simon Torrens from Omagh combined with Brian Hamilton, who trains beside the course, to supply the winner of the Beginners Chase when ‘Dynamic Allen’ (9s to 6/1) proved the emphatic winner. The local mare, who was recording her second course success, was waited with in mid-division until driven into contention at the penultimate fence and a bold leap at the last sealed matters with the always prominent ‘Doldido’ second. ‘Reserve The Abbey’ (5s to 16/5) started favourite finishing fourth.
Hamilton said: “She did it well. After the run last week, he (Handicapper) dropped her down to 102 over hurdles, so it was an opportunity to have a go at it and see. It worked out grand. She has won around here before and she seems to handle it alright. We’ll look again for something similar and see what happens. She will stay over fences and her pedigree would suggest she is a chaser rather than a hurdler. She travelled lovely through the race today and Simon gave her a lovely ride.”
Locals completed a hat trick when ‘On The Sod’ with Barry O’Neill in the saddle, made all to claim the hunterchase. The winner and ‘Timewaitsfornoone’ vied for the lead throughout, however, the local horse trained at Derrylin by David Christie, proved the decisive and easy winner at the line, bringing his tally to four wins in points and two hunterchases and supplying compensation with the trainer’s ‘Blue Markie’ having had to settle for third in the beginners chase.
Christie said: “I really enjoyed that, because he was very unlucky not to win in Fairyhouse. I think the fall took quite a lot out of him. He’s such a tough horse like all Ask’s. We thought he was in great form going to Punchestown and Barry (O’Neill) said he just wasn’t himself. We didn’t think beyond today. If it stayed wet, we might have a look at Listowel and, if it doesn’t, he’ll go to grass.”
The well supported favourite ‘Statuaire’, despite a belated Irish debut for Champion trainer, Willie Mullins routed the opposition in the opener scoring by 23 lengths. The leading quartet went clear turning the race into twin contests, but the ex-French trained winner, with the trainer’s nephew Danny Mullins in the saddle, despite racing keen was always in the first two and led at the last before shooting clear of the runner up.
Mullins Junior said: “Hopefully she will keep building on that. She was a little keen as she has a light mouth, but she hadn’t run for the best part of a year but had a good run at Auteuil in France and it was a bit of freshness more so than anything else. She galloped when it mattered, so that is most important.”
The Tom Gibney trained, ‘Magic Piper’ (14s to 5/1) was another to record her first victory in the second division of the Adare handicap, with Jack Foley aboard, following a spell in Britain and was riding his first winner at the track. The winning mare made all and repelled the persistent challenge of the second ‘Frazel Express’ to readily go clear after the last.
Foley said: “He got a nice lead the whole way. In fairness to Thomas Gibney, he said to me ‘buck out smart and see where he is comfortable’. He was comfortable in front all the way and he jumped well. I’m back based with Tom Mullins.”
The Cullentra Stables maintained their strike rate at the venue when ‘Longacre Square’ prevailed in the handicap hurdle with jockey, Bryan Cooper showing he has lost none of his talent. The Denise Foster trained winner and ‘Call The Fairies’ jumped the final flight together, but it was ‘Silvertown’ that powered up the hill to finish runner up.
Assistant trainer, Ian Amond said: “He stuck at it well, he probably wants a trip like that. Bryan (Cooper) thought going out that were going to go a good gallop, so it worked out well for him as he stayed going.”
The locally trained, ‘Blue Markie’ attempted to make all in the handicap chase, but was headed by the Henry De Bromhead trained, ‘Ask Corry’ two from home and, despite landing very steep was gathered up by jockey, Sean Flanagan to assert at the last and score for the Ulster-based syndicate of owners as ‘Goodnightandgodbless’ stayed on strongly to claim second.
Flanagan said: “All he did at two out was over jump a little bit; he’s a big, old, scopey horse and the track was a little bit tight for him. I was outpaced for most of the way, but he is a very strong stayer and he has done the best of his work at the end. He won a beginners’ in Killarney and it looked like quite a competitive beginners’. I think the bigger step up in trip, the better and a more flat, galloping track will suit him better. Here is a lot different to Killarney.”
The concluding bumper produced another shock result and, yet again, a reserve prevailing when the Mags Mullins trained, ‘Full Light’ (20/1) with Tom Hamilton aboard, despite veering right across the course in the closing stages, scored from the locally trained ‘Kingfisher Lane’ with long odds-on favourite ‘Aslukwoodhaveit’ flopping, finishing a poor fourth.