St Devote scores feature glory for Hunt and O'Shea
IRISH soccer internationals Stephen Hunt and John O'Shea hit the back of the net in grand style at Listowel yesterday when their horse, St Devote, captured the feature event.
Hunt and O'Shea didn't attend, but would have seen the race on the television as the colours of their Dubs V's Culchies syndicate were carried to victory in the Guinness Handicap Hurdle by Barry Geraghty, who was celebrating his 31st birthday.
Eoin Griffin's five-year-old had been second at Galway on his last outing, but was given a confident ride by Geraghty, who had his broken nose reset in the morning.
Edward O'Grady's 9/4 favourite Slieveardagh was still in contention at the last but took a fall, leaving the 5/1 shot to come home three lengths clear of Star Wood.
Griffin said: "He'll have a break now and we'll find something for him in Cheltenham in November."
Davy Russell had an eventful day, which ended with him being taken to Tralee General Hospital after suffering a bad fall in the novice chase.
Russell sustained injuries to the right side of his chest, arm and back when Mister Two Fifty crashed out in the Kevin McManus Beginners Chase.
Earlier, the Cork rider failed a breath test upon his arrival at the track but was given clearance to ride after a second test proved negative.
The jockey, who has not had a drink for 15 years, claimed that using mouthwash after brushing his teeth caused him to fail the test.
To compound his misery, Lough Ferrib, Russell's intended mount in the Devon Inn Hotel Handicap Hurdle, won under substitute Davy Condon.
The eventful novice chase was won by Wise Old Owl under Mark Walsh for the trainer/owner combination of John Kiely and JP McManus.
Kiely remarked of his charge, who had finished runner-up on his three previous outings: "He has just been unlucky. All the horses (Kilmurry, Gonebeyondrecall and Glenstal Abbey) that he was second to have gone on to win since."
Bullock Harbour put up a good display of front-running to land the concluding bumper under his owner, Barry Connell. The Jessica Harrington-trained 5/1 shot saw off the well-backed Ross Bay by a length and a half.
Hayley O'Connor saw her colours carried to victory by the Joanna Morgan-trained Genesi in the FBD Insurance Handicap.
"I'm absolutely delighted, I couldn't be happier. Fair play to Joanna and her daughter Katie as she has been a tough filly to train," said O'Connor. "I told everyone to back her and luckily everyone got on (16/1 into 12s)."
Jim Bolger's Rock Medley (9/2) won the TP Walsh Memorial Handicap in the hands of Kevin Manning, while Dermot Weld's Duc De Savoie (11/8 favourite) won the opening maiden under Leigh Roche.