Jackson battles to victory
Published 30/04/2015 | 16:56
Philip Dempsey's admirable mare Jacksonslady claimed an eighth career victory in the Three.ie Handicap Chase at Punchestown.
The JP McManus-owned 10-year-old was a 10-1 chance off the back of a wide-margin success at Naas in February and travelled with plenty of zest in the hands of Mark Walsh.
Jacksonslady was tracked by fellow McManus runner Ned Buntline, the 7-2 favourite, as well as Upazo rounding the home turn, but she saw them both off in the end.
Upazo beat Ned Buntline to the runner-up spot, beaten five lengths by the winner.
Dempsey said: "I'm delighted. She's been going great and I was very happy with her.
"She is going to stud and it's great to get that. Hopefully she'll go to Galway. Probably for the Plate which is the obvious race. She could have a little break now.
"Mark said she was flat out early but he got there too soon in the end. When the other horse came to her she picked up again.
"She has the heart of lion and loves a battle. I don't think she's ever come out the wrong side of a battle."
Heavily supported favourite Bog War lunged late under David Mullins to claim the Murray Spelman Handicap Hurdle.
A winner at Navan at the end of March and Fairyhouse little over a week ago, the Liam Cusack-trained Bog War was the 5-2 market leader to complete a hat-trick in this fiercely competitive 25-runner contest over the minimum distance.
Mullins settled the five-year-old in midfield for much of the two-mile journey before allowing him to close down the leaders before the home turn.
Bog War tracked 20-1 chance A Sizing Network into the final flight and looked to have blown his chance after a mistake, but he got rolling again on the run-in and passed the post a head to the good.
Seeyouallincoppers and Equity Swap filled out the places in third and fourth respectively.
Cusack said: "It's great that he followed up. I was a little worried coming back after a week as he normally gets a bit of time.
"The fact that he didn't have a hard race helped. He was eating well and seemed in good shape. It was worth chancing as it was a good pot.
"He's game and is a progressive horse. He's unlucky not to have won four in a row and seems to be getting stronger all the time.
"He was 24th in the ballot and just scraped in. He wouldn't have got in without the penalty. David's claim was a huge advantage and he knows the horse.
"We'll have to think about a nice handicap hurdle now. He's rated 64 on the Flat and I wouldn't rule that out but he certainly won't run for a while and we'll take it easy now.
"We'll think about Galway and there is a little race at Leopardstown in the New Year which he might sneak into the bottom of."