Ruby lights up Fairyhouse with sparkling treble
Summit Meeting could be heading for Cheltenham after flooring the odds-on Arvika Ligeonniere at Fairyhouse where Ruby Walsh took yesterday's riding honours with a brilliant 40/1 treble.
The Jessica Harrington-trained gelding showed battling qualities under Robbie Power to hold Willie Mullins' charge by half a length in the Easter Festival 2010 Novice Hurdle.
"Summit Meeting hated that tacky ground and would prefer much nicer conditions. He's entered at Cheltenham but it will depend on whether his owner wants to run him," said Harrington.
Mullins got on the scoresheet thanks to Kempes (13/8) in the beginners chase to help champion jockey Walsh to a hat-trick. However, this winner owed his success to a mistake at the last by Noel Meade's 8/11 favourite Nicanor.
Paul Carberry's mount was half a length up going to the final fence but made a hash of the obstacle and Kempes pulled away to win by four lengths.
"Kempes may have been a bit fortunate at the final fence but his performance was more encouraging, despite the ground not being to his liking," said Mullins.
"He's entered for Cheltenham but I'd imagine he'll stay at home."
Walsh had earlier struck on 7/2 favourite Shuil Aris for Paul Nolan in the Ratoath Mares Maiden Hurdle, which got up to beat Mary's Little Vic by a neck.
Walsh sealed his treble when Seabass (5/2), trained by his father Ted, beat Kasimali by a length in the Corporate Hospitality Novice Handicap Chase.
Carberry did manage a winner on his 36th birthday on the Meade-trained West Of The Border (3/1f) in the Ballybin Maiden Hurdle, while the concluding bumper went to the Aidan Kennedy-trained Character Actor under promising amateur jockey Pa King.
At Market Rasen, meanwhile, David Bass came of age at Tony McCoy's expense courtesy of Ranjobaie.
Bass, 7lb conditional rider, was given the nod in the Novices' Hurdle (Qualifier) -- even though the partnership came to grief at Leicester on the five-year-old's penultimate start.
It emerged as a calculated gamble as Nicky Henderson's 5/2 favourite seized upon Bygones Of Brid's last-flight gaffe to win by three and a half lengths. McCoy finished fourth on Henderson's alleged second string, Proud Presence.
McCoy still inevitably left his mark when Open Day came from 10 lengths back to claim a vastly changing renewal of the Juvenile Novices' Hurdle.