Monday 22 January 2018

Walsh shines on Suntiep

Ruby Walsh, left, was in the winners enclosure at Navan
Ruby Walsh, left, was in the winners enclosure at Navan

Ruby Walsh struck gold on his only ride of the day at Navan as Limerick bumper winner Suntiep made a winning start to his jumping career in the Navan Golf Course Maiden Hurdle.

The 7-4 favourite was never too far off the pace in the two-mile-seven-furlong contest and tracked long-time leader Hard To Swallow into the straight.

The latter did not give in without a fight and still held a narrow advantage jumping the final obstacle, but Suntiep dug deep for Walsh on the run to the line and got on top close home to score by a length and three-quarters.

Winning trainer Willie Mullins said: "This fellow gallops all day and jumps fantastic. That's his game - jumping and staying. He's a real out and out stayer.

"We'll be aiming him at that sort of trip again. We'll probably be looking at Fairyhouse at Easter for him, but the owner is from England, so he might want him to travel (to Cheltenham)."

Rich Revival edged out Fever Pitch in a close finish to the feature Foxrock Handicap Chase.

Rich Revival was an 8-1 shot, having made a winning return from over a year and a half on the sidelines at Fairyhouse a month ago, with Brian O'Connell partnering the Liz Doyle inmate.

The two-and-a-half-mile contest was not much of a show for spectators due to the fog, but there was at least some excitement on the run-in as Rich Revival and Fever Pitch engaged in a thrilling duel, with Rich Revival just holding on to take the honours by a head.

Doyle's partner, Barry Murphy, said: "It's nice to come up here on a Sunday and get a good pot like that. We thought his opening mark was a bit harsh, but Noel O'Brien (handicapper) obviously got it right.

"He loves that ground and he needs a bit of time between his races. We may look at a better class handicap in February."

Press Association

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