Friday 28 July 2017

Flanagan on double as 'Skipper' sails to Fortria shock

Flanagan earlier delivered Snow Falcon (5/1) to lead on the run-in and capture the Lismullen Hurdle by three and a quarter lengths. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Flanagan earlier delivered Snow Falcon (5/1) to lead on the run-in and capture the Lismullen Hurdle by three and a quarter lengths. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Thomas Kelly

There was a major suprise in the tote.com Fortria Chase at Navan as 25/1 outsider took the spoils for Vincent Halley.

It was also a red-letter day for jockey Sean Flanagan, who doubled up by landing the Grade Two Lismullen Hurdle for his boss Noel Meade.

Flanagan had to be strong on Arctic Skipper to edge out Gilgamboa by a short head.

"That's fantastic," said Waterford-based Halley. "Andrew (Lynch) usually rides him and said he would be a stronger horse this year.

"We would have been happy if he had been in the first three. He's obviously improved from last season."

Flanagan earlier delivered Snow Falcon (5/1) to lead on the run-in and capture the Lismullen Hurdle by three and a quarter lengths from De Plotting Shed with favourite Shaneshill back in third.

"It depends what turns up in the Hatton's Grace (Fairyhouse) whether he'll run or not, but we'll certainly leave it as an option," said Meade.

"I think he'll be better over three miles so we have the race at Christmas to look at and I might have a look and see what is in England as well.

"He's had a lot of trouble with his back and has all sorts of stuff done to it. He got a stress crack last year after he won here and that's why he didn't run for the rest of the season. He's still a young horse."

Gordon Elliott may have been out of luck with De Plotting Shed, but was on the mark with Labaik (11/4) in the Grade Three For Auction Novice Hurdle.

Ridden by Ruby Walsh, the five-year-old headed Mick Jazz on the run-in and went on to score by a length and three-parts.

Like Flanagan, Mark Walsh was another rider to record a double -both in the colours of his boss JP McManus.

Walsh struck first in the opening two-mile handicap hurdle by guiding the Tom Mullins-trained That's A Wrap (13/8) to a length success over Elliott's Ainslie, while he also claimed the novice on Tony Martin's Anibale Fly (7/2).

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