Thursday 23 March 2017

Smullen excels as Weld hits jackpot again

It was a masterclass not lost on Weld. "He gave her a beautiful ride," The Curragh maestro said. "Pat would have regarded her as probably one of his most difficult rides of the week. She is green, so everything had to go right."

Weld's Rock Critic made light work of the opposition in the mile handicap. Also a winner here in 2010, the six-year-old was having a first start since September, yet strode clear to a five-length rout under Smullen.

Returned the 11/4 favourite, Rock Critic will now turn out under a penalty tomorrow.

Weld's haul was initiated by a wonderful exhibition of jumping and galloping from the front by Daffern Seal -- another 11/4 favourite -- in the Beginners' Chase under Robbie McNamara.

Teach Nua then completed the quartet by obliging at odds of 6/4 in the Mile Handicap to give Smullen a personal best tally of nine.

The only other trainer's surname to grace the day was Mullins.

Mags Mullins enjoyed a brilliant double with Down In Neworleans and Cairdin.

obliged

The former obliged under the handler's son Danny in the novice chase, while Cairdin ground out a four-length bumper win under Danny's cousin Patrick.

On a day when the bookies' turnover came in at over €100,000 less than last year at €2.7m, Cairdin's 7/4 triumph was the sixth time the layers came out on the wrong side of the exchanges.

Danny and Patrick's uncle, Tom, had supplied the fourth of those and his second of the week when Tavern Times justified good support in the novice hurdle at odds of 5/2. Despite being less than fluent at some flights, Tavern Times cruised home under Davy Russell to deny Endless Intrigue by two and a half lengths.

Following a nasty fall in the beginners' chase, leading amateur Derek O'Connor was last night reported to be in a comfortable condition. He subsequently underwent X-rays on his back and neck, but suffered no fractures.

Irish Independent

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