THE ups and downs of jump racing were certainly experienced by Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bormhead as they teamed up for a 65/1 double with Watch House Cross and Hiddenvalley Lake but also suffered some cruel luck elsewhere on this eight-race card.
Watch House Cross appreciated a return to the smaller obstacles when making all in the featured €45,000 Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle. The 18/1 shot asserted early in the straight but was desperately looking for the line in the closing stages and just held off Vina Ardanza by a short-head with Lucky Max three-quarters of a length back in third.
“Rachael was brilliant and kept filling him up,” said de Bromhead before adding, “We were trying to find a bit of form again.
“I was dreaming about him over fences and he just didn’t take to them at all so it was lovely to see him go out and do that. I’m delighted for Rory (Kelleher) and the Sunday Racing Club.
“He loved it out in front. I’m not sure where he will go next but there are plenty of good handicaps and we may look at the Pertemps Qualifier at Christmas.”
The Robcour-owned Hiddenvalley Lake earlier made a winning start under rules in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Hurdle.
Blackmore also had the 5/2 chance up with the pace throughout and he kept on well on the run-in to beat Santonito by two and a quarter lengths.
“He’s a fine horse and has been working well. He looked like he’d win his point-to-point when he got carried out and, in fairness, Robert Acheson identified him,” said the Knockeen trainer.
“He’s green but is a grand horse and stays well. We’ll keep finding out about him and I’m delighted that he’s won there.”
Fortune favours Jeremys Flame
THE Blackmore/de Bromhead partnership were unfortunate not to make it a treble on the afternoon in the Grade 3 Barberstown Castle Poplar Square Chase where Coeur Sublime held a narrow advantage when falling at the last.
The front-running Gentleman De Mee looked beaten in third when hampered by the faller and unseating Mark Walsh and this left Jeremys Flame well clear under Luke Dempsey to come home all of 54 lengths clear of Gallant John Joe, with Francin the only other finisher in third.
“It’s unfortunate for Coeur Sublime and his connections but we will never know what would have happened. She has been on the receiving end of bad luck on a few occasions as well,” said Gavin Cromwell who trains the 13/2 winner for the Flushfarm Racing Syndicate.
“I’m delighted for her to win graded race. She has buckets of blacktype and just didn’t get her head in front. She’ll be aimed at the graded races for mares and I definitely wouldn’t rule out going to Cheltenham with her.”
Jeremys Flame was introduced at 10/1 with the sponsors for the Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
There was worse to come for the de Bromhead yard in the Mongey Communications Beginners Chase where Grand Jury jumped well out in front for Blackmore and still held a slight advantage when taking a fatal fall at the penultimate fence.
Three Stripe Life was left clear to easily land odds of 1/2 by 12 lengths from Unexpected Depth.
Winning trainer Gordon Elliott said: “We knew he would come on plenty for it as he’s plenty big enough. It’s a nice starting point and Davy (Russell) said he had a good blow. He’ll go now for the Drinmore at Fairyhouse.” The six-year-old is owned by Kenny and Laura Haughey in partnership with Kieran Byrne.
The Cullentra House trainer later completed a short-priced double with Halka Du Tabert (1/2 favourite) in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares (Pro/Am) Flat Race.
The Balko mare was purchased for 260,000gns by Kenny Alexander following a runaway success on her only point start last December but needed a strong drive here from Jamie Codd to just get the better of Coole Cherry by a neck.
Elliott said: “She’s a nice mare and wants a trip. She has a good attitude and there is a lot of improvement in her. She’ll go straight over hurdles now and will probably want two and a half miles.”
Brazil battles on well
GORDON Elliott also supplied the odds-on favourite in the Grade 3 Pre-Order @ IrishRacingYearbook.com Fishery Lane Hurdle with Fil Dor but a bad mistake at the second last proved crucial as he went down by three and a half lengths to Brazil.
“He was getting weight and the other horse making a mistake at the second last helped but it’s great to get another win out of him,” said Padraig Roche who trains the 15/8 winner for J.P. McManus.
“He kept going well. On pedigree all he does is stay as he’s a half-brother to Capri and a lovely horse to have. He jumped well and stays well. I’ll leave plans to J.P. and Frank (Berry).”
The Blue Blood Racing Club were out in great numbers to see Grade 2 bumper winner Ashroe Diamond make a successful hurdle debut in the Cavan Developments Home Builders Supporting St Marys GAA Maiden Hurdle. The 4/9 favourite overcame a mistake at the last to get on top and beat Kansas City Star by a length and a quarter.
Trainer Willie Mullins’ assistant David Casey said: “Paul said she was a little bit fresh. She had a little blow but toughed it out well at the end. She had been working well at home and jumping very well so she was ready to go.
“There is a nice mares’ novice in Thurles before Christmas and her long-term aim is going to be the Mares’ Novice (at Cheltenham).”
Paddy Power cut her into 6/1 (from 7/1) for that Festival target.
There was a cracking finish to the Sign Up Today To GavinLynchRacing.com Novice Handicap Chase as well-supported 4/1 favourite Happy Dreams, owned and trained by Michael McDonagh, came from off the pace to peg back the front-runner Clonbury Bridge by half a length. “They went a good gallop and I was kind of on my head the whole way but luckily the line came in time,” said winning rider Cathal Landers.