Tramore Racecourse hosted their annual New Year’s Day meeting with seven National hunt races down for decision this afternoon, here’s a round up of the action.
Matters did not go to plan for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend at Leopardstown over the Christmas period but normal service was resumed at Tramore on New Year’s Day and they shared in a double courtesy of short priced favourites Deal D’estruval 4/7 and Bachasson 1/1.
12.00 David Flynn Building Contractors Maiden Hurdle of €13,000 2m.
Previously in the care of trainer Tony Mullins Chateauneuf Du Pap 3/1 scored at the first time of asking for County Kilkenny handler Elmarie Holden. Taking the shortest route home under Rachael Blackmore ‘Chateauneuf’ took on the front running Reelingintheyears on the run to the second last hurdle. Market drifter Lareena loomed up menacingly on the wide outside between the final two jumps but sticking to the task ‘Chateauneuf’ stayed on stoutly for a length success.
12.30 Kilbarry Lodge Stud – Home Of Diamond Boy H/cap Hurdle (Rated 80-102) of €12,500 2m.
Three Kings made a brave bid to make most of the running and still held the call into the dip. The Jack Kennedy partnered Cubomania the 2/1 favourite started to close on the winner inside the two furlong marker and producing the better turn of finishing pace the Gordon Elliott trained Cubomania finished the stronger to basically outstay a gallant Three Kings by two and three-quarter lengths. The winner was following on from a Down Royal success six days earlier.
1.05 Waterford & Tramore Racecourse Supporters Club Maiden Hurdle of €11,000 2m. 5f.
So Influential cut out the running before giving way to Eamon High heading out on the final circuit. Staying wide for the better ground Deal D’estruval closed in on the leader but had to work really hard to master Eamon High. In was slow motion stuff on the run to the winning line with ‘Deal’ emerging victorious by three quarters of a length. Winning rider Paul Townend stated that the winner’s future is over fences rather than over hurdles.
1.40 Ryan’s Racecourse Services Handicap Hurdle (Rated 80-109) of €13,000 2m. 5f.
Grange County Tipperary owner/trainer John Lonergan sent out his first ever winner when Pump Road came home in front at odds of 8/1 under three pound claimer Andrew Ring. Hanover Street was to the fore in the early stages but was headed and taken on by previous course winner Terrible Beauty with a circuit to go. Mlily and a patiently ridden Pump Road joined in the action over the final two hurdles and quickening up best of the trio ‘Pump’ eased his way clear for a two and a quarter lengths defeat of Mlily with Terrible Mistake just behind in third. The winning trainer also rides work for Mouse Morris and recalled that he rode a horse called Us And Mary trained by Michael Hourigan to win at this venue back in 1993.
2.15 Savills ‘A Different Outlook’ Steeplechase (Listed) of €30,000 2m. 5f.
It was a case of quality rather than quantity with only four runners lining up at the start. Champagne West set out to make all the running but his cause was not helped by a poor jump along the back stretch. Bachasson moved to the front at that point and was quickly followed by A Toi Phil. Jumping economically Bachasson who clipped the top of the final fence eased his way clear between the final two fences eventually accounting for A Toi Phil by thirteen lengths. The winner earned a 20/1 quote from Paddy Powers for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham having recorded a hat trick of victories over fences.
2.50 Ani-Pets Veterinary Clinic Rated Novice Steeplechase of €12,500 2m.
The Paul Nolan trained Peculiar Genius 4/1 (12/1 in the morning) who scored at the corresponding fixture last year over hurdles repeated that win except this time it was over fences. When a prominent Soul Kaliber was bumped and lost his rider at the penultimate fence Blue Empyrean and Peculiar Genius settled down to scrap it out inside the final furlong. Receiving plenty of assistance from Waterford jockey Dylan Robinson ‘Peculiar’ held at bay the renewed challenge of Blue Empyrean by half a length. The Stewards requested a report from Paul Nolan, trainer, as to the apparent improvement in form of Peculiar Genius, placed first, as compared with its recent form (pulled up at Limerick on December 29th). James Nolan, authorised representative of the trainer, reported that Peculiar Genius had made a very bad mistake on his previous run and his rider on the day pulled him up thereafter, as he had lost all confidence. He said his charge was well schooled since that run and he felt this had attributed to the improved performance. Having considered the report, the Stewards noted the explanation offered.
3.25 Tom Carroll Memorial Handicap Steeplechase (Rated 0-95) of €11,500 2m. 5f.
There was no shortage of drama in the concluding contest. Highest Benefit who appeared to be travelling well unseated his rider at the fence on the back stretch. The front running Killare Castle was still in front jumping the last but he fell at that point. A closing Cerca Trova was left in the lead and encountered little difficulty in romping to a seven and a half lengths success over Benarty Hill. The winner ridden to victory by Andrew Lynch is trained by Jim Dreaper.