NOTEBOOK bounced back to winning ways with a fine display of jumping in the Tote Fortria Chase at Navan last Sunday.
The Henry de Bromhead-trained gelding, a dual Grade 1 winner as a novice, had struggled a touch last term after a promising start. He was sent to post a 8/15 shot for his seasonal debut and asserted in fine style in the closing stages to run out a commanding winner of the Grade 2 contest for Gigginstown House Stud.
The owner’s other runner, Samcro, had looked a big danger when coming to dispute three from home in the two-miler but cried enough after the second last as Notebook found another gear to record a 10-length success.
It continued a fine weekend for Rachael Blackmore, who had bagged a four-timer at Naas on Saturday. Afterwards de Bromhead said: “I’m delighted with that, he was really good and jumped great.
“He’s in the John Durkan so we could have a look at that. He won really well at Naas first time last year and then it was just Chacun Pour Soi that was the problem after that. He’s a very good horse in his own right and I think everyone is keen to try him over further.”
Farrawaybay gained her second career victory when coming with a late charge to win the Safer Gambling Handicap Hurdle.
Bryan Cooper got a good tune from the Stowaway mare on the run-in as she grabbed Gaspard Du Seuil close home for a length-and-a-quarter success at odds of 13/2.
Trainer Mark Molloy revealed: “I’m delighted because her owners Mark and Jane Fleming are over today.
“Her brother sells in a couple of hours at Fairyhouse. Her other brother (Galop Marin) won the Grade 1 in France yesterday, he won that race for the fourth time. It’s a good family.”
The Downpatrick-based Yes We Will Syndicate were out in force to welcome Easca Peasca back into the winners enclosure following his win in the Hotel Park St Johann Tirol Handicap Hurdle.
The Born To Sea gelding stuck his head out gamely in a tight finish to beat Cotteemcavennigoal by a head.
Brian Hamilton, who trains the 6/1 winner, said: “He’s tough out and a lovely horse to work with. He’s a great horse for a small trainer like me to have as he never runs a bad race.”
MY Mate Mozzie made it two from two over jumps with a stylish victory in the For Auction Hurdle.
The 4/5 favourite was given a confident ride by Mark Walsh as they made virtually all in the Grade 3 event.
The Gavin Cromwell-trained gelding quickened up at the back of the second last in the two-miler and looked to have the measure of Boothen Boy when that rival crashed out at the last.
My Mate Mozzie was left to come home a comfortable 10-length winner in the colours of Alymer Stud.
Walsh reported: “I gave him a squeeze after the second last but I hadn’t fully gone for him and I was very happy I was always going to win.
“The only negative I’d have about him is that he was jumping right most of the way.
“I think a right-handed track would suit him better but he’s a lovely horse, very straightforward and he travels and jumps.”
Darasso added another Grade 2 prize to his CV when staying on stoutly off a strong pace to land the Lismullen Hurdle.
Stayers’ Hurdle winner Flooring Porter went to post as the 7/4 favourite in the two-and-a-half-mile contest and took up his customary front-running role.
He was clear at halfway but had a reduced advantage turning for home and was disputing with Grand Roi when crashing out at the second last.
Luke Dempsey swooped before the final flight on 4/1 shot Darasso, having held his mount up out the back. The Joseph O’Brien-trained gelding powered home on the run-in for a six-length win over Sire Du Berlais.
“He’s been very consistent all year, run some good races, so it was nice to see him back again in front,” said Frank Berry, racing manager for owner JP McManus.
“He’s in the Morgiana next weekend and we’ll see how he is during the week, he doesn’t mind pulling out quick. If he is in good form we might have a shot at it.”
Dempsey added: “We went very quick, there was no hanging about. I was riding my lad to run well and pick up whatever I could.
“When they went so quick early on, I knew it would play into my hands.”
GORDON Elliott may have had to settle for minor honours in the graded races but had another fine day at his local track, saddling a treble.
Ginto got things off to the perfect start in the opening Kilberry Pub & Kitchen Maiden Hurdle when running out a convincing winner.
The 30/100 shot made the running under Jack Kennedy and stretched clear before the last to record a five-and-a-half-length success in the colours of Noel and Valerie Moran.
“Jack said it was like a piece of work for him, he wasn’t doing a stroke going around there on his own. It’s job done. He’s gotten very strong, he’s a big bull, and he needs to get out, get a bit of work, and get going,” said Elliott.
The same colours were also carried to success by 4/6 shot Gringo D’Aubrelle in the concluding Kevin Bell Trust INH Flat Race. Jamie Codd also bounced out in front on the Saddler Maker gelding and he was sent clear over two furlongs from home for an easy 10-length success.
“He’s a nice horse. I fancied him in a bumper at Thurles and he came home lame and then he blew up the last day when he was beaten by a good horse of Charles Byrnes’,” said the winning trainer.
The middle leg of the treble had been secured by Buddy Rich in the preceding Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners.
The 5/1 shot gained a deserved success after a sequence of placed efforts, leading before the last to beat Ballyadam by four lengths.
Elliott commented: “He’s been a great horse, he runs well everyday, and it’s great for John (Keegan) as it’s the first horse he’s had with us. He’s local and he’s a good fella.”
Elliott admitted that it was a ‘bittersweet’ victory with Wide Receiver suffering a fatal fall and Jack Kennedy taken to hospital with a suspected broken arm.
The Cullentra handler added: “Jack is an incredible talent, and we’re behind him 100%. All these good horses will be here for him when he comes back. My heart goes out to him.”