Anger over voided race
There was major drama yesterday in a humble novice chase at Towcester which involved a runner from Jim Dreaper's yard.
Favourite Identity Parade looked all set for victory going down to the last fence, but she tried to refuse and deposited jockey Adrian Lane on to the ground -- in the process badly hampering the sole remaining runner, Dreaper's Radharc Na Mara which unseated rider Peter Toole.
Neither jockey was allowed to remount -- it was banned by the British authorities in 2009 -- leaving the stewards with no option but to void the race. Lane said after the race: "I had the race in the bag. There were a few people around the fence that caught her eye and she half stepped at the fence then refused.
"I knew not to remount, but it's silly. The vet checked the mare and she was fine. All I had to do was jump back on and walk past the post."
Tom Dreaper, son of trainer Jim, was unimpressed, saying: "In Ireland you could have caught the mare and remounted. This is ridiculous, she is fine and could have crossed the line."
There was no shortage of drama at Down Royal either where the two-mile beginners' chase produced plenty of excitement. Approaching the last, Mick Darcy looked set for a cosy victory on Talkin' Tough only to get the obstacle all wrong and the partnership fell.
Rookery Rebel made the most of his chance under Davy Condon and went on for a four-length victory. It was a change of luck for the winner, who crashed out in the same race last year when looking set for victory.
"He deserves his bit of luck today," said winning trainer Cormac Farrell. "He ran in this last year and fell two out. It was his turn today.
Earlier, Condon had suffered his own bit of misfortune when 2/7 favourite Ballymak was an early faller in the three-mile beginners' chase.
Ad Man was the next to go when leading and exiting at the sixth last. Inverglen, which had contested early on, was left in front, but he was untidy at the third last and relinquished to Farmaland.
Matty Bowes kept Noel Hynds' gelding going in the closing stages to record a length-and-three-quarters success.
It proved a red-letter day for young trainer Ian Browne, who saddled his first winner when Hold The Pin landed the conditions chase.
The 12-year-old only joined the Kildare handler six weeks ago from Tony Martin's yard and the gelding rolled back the years in great fashion.
The 25/1 outsider travelled sweetly for Robbie Moran before leading at the second last and going on to beat Ambobo by a length and a quarter. Grand National hopeful Vic Venturi, the 2/1 favourite, was only fourth.
At Wexford, there was shock in the feature when Hide The Evidence, the 16/1 complete outsider of four, took the Richard Browne And Sons Ltd Hurdle.
Barry Cash never saw a rival as he ran the three others ragged to bring home Niall Moran's charge eight lengths clear of No One Tells Me.
"We've had him about a year and gave him a run on the Flat at Wolverhampton last month and that sweetened him up," said Moran's representative Michael McElhone.