Stewards intervene to secure treble for Carberry
A dramatic Toals Bookmakers Ulster Grand National Handicap Chase at Downpatrick saw Hidden Horizons awarded the race after a stewards' inquiry to earn Paul Carberry a 54/1 treble.
The Eoghan O'Grady-trained Unoccupied went on at the head of affairs with Hidden Horizon (7/1) after the third-last as leader Hidden Crack gave way, with the rest well behind.
Unoccupied was clear going to the final fence as Philip Enright looked to make use of his stamina, but Hidden Horizon rallied gamely on the run-in and the pair came together as Carberry sought to exploit a gap on the rail on Stuart Crawford's runner.
With just a length and half between the pair, the claxon immediately sounded and lengthy deliberations ensued.
Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence of the riders, the stewards were satisfied that Unoccupied – in causing interference – had improved his placing in relation to Hidden Horizons and ordered the placings to be reversed. To rub salt into Enright's wounds, the Kerry jockey was also hit with a two-day ban.
Crawford felt his mare would have won without being hampered.
"You'd prefer to win it properly, but I thought she was always getting there," said the Co Antrim trainer.
"She finishes her races well and I thought she'd have got up with a clear run. We've had this in mind for her since she was third here in December and these fences suit her."
The win brought up a hat-trick for Carberry, who struck twice for Gordon Elliott courtesy of Taglietelle (3/1) and Un Beau Matin. Carberry was at his brilliant waiting best aboard Taglietelle which came with a storming late run to take the opening maiden hurdle from favourite Sunsetstorise and Good As Gold by 12 lengths.
The veteran recorded his second success of the day aboard Un Beau Matin which took the four-runner conditions hurdle in the style of an 8/11 favourite.
Carberry quickly sent the six-year-old into the lead before easing home seven lengths ahead of Passage Vendome. Elliott indicated that the Gigginstown Stud-owned grey would be sent over the larger obstacles next season.
Arthur Moore's well-backed Back Off Mate had to dig deep under a strong drive from seven-pound claimer Gareth Malone to justify 2/1 favouritism in the Master Hamilton Handicap Hurdle, while Denis Prendergast's Easyondeye (9/4) was another market leader to oblige for Kevin Power in the hunters chase.
The Willie Mullins-trained Most Peculiar became the fourth winning favourite of the afternoon when cruising to victory in the closing bumper.
Patrick Mullins was never far off the pace on the 4/7 chance and he impressively stretched clear in the final furlong to beat second favourite Royal Captain by 10 lengths.