'Natural' Psycho helps Walsh and Martin double up
Trainer Tony Martin and champion jockey Ruby Walsh took the honours at Clonmel yesterday with a short-priced double through Tijuana Dancer and Psycho.
Psycho (10/11) was in the lead a long way out in the Comeragh Beginners Chase and was already in command when he sealed success with a superb leap at the last, storming home by 11 lengths from Noble Concorde.
"He's a pure natural. He ran in a point-to-point as a young horse and we should have gone chasing last year with him," said Martin. "We'll have a look at the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse. Hopefully a lot of the better novices will go to Cheltenham."
Tijuana Dancer also justified favouritism in good style in the Slievenamon Maiden Hurdle after Walsh brought the 6/4 shot to take it up from the pace-setting The Vixen's Kote before two out and won comfortably by three lengths from Happy Milly.
"He was entitled to win as it was a weak enough maiden hurdle," said the Meath handler. "We'll look for a little handicap or winners of one for him."
Andrew McNamara gave Mazara (3/1) a canny front-running ride to edge success in the Powerstown Maiden Hurdle. Despite flattening the final flight, Tim Doyle's gelding had enough left to beat Walsh's mount, Pozyc, by half a length.
"He's consistent and is progressing. There might be more to come from him," said Doyle. "Andrew gave him a lovely ride. He could do with company and idled a bit in front but he said there was plenty in the tank. We'll probably go the handicap direction and he might go back on the Flat somewhere along the line."
Whatsabillion survived a scare to claim the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase. Eddie Power gave the 5/2 favourite a positive ride at the head of affairs but the pair got the sixth last all wrong, landing on top of the fence and climbing over it.
John Murphy's charge was none the worse for that incident and stayed on strongly down the straight to record an eight-length success over Old Shyan.
All The Eights (12/1) defied top weight under Tom Doyle in the Suir Handicap Hurdle with a neck verdict over the strong-finishing favourite Shorecliffe King. Headford Flyer survived a stewards enquiry to claim the concluding bumper under Mikey Fogarty.