Byerley Babe edges out Nicky Henderson's raider Une Artiste at Thurles
Robert Tyner's Byerley Babe got the better of British raider Une Artiste in a thrilling climax to the Fame And Glory & Sans Frontieres Coolmore National Hunt Sires EBF Mares Novice Chase at Thurles.
Nicky Henderson's Cheltenham Festival-winning hurdler Une Artiste was a first ever runner at the track for the champion trainer and was 6-5 favourite to secure a second victory over fences in this Grade Two contest.
Byerley Babe, who opened her chasing account at Limerick's Christmas Festival, was next best in the market as a well-supported 3-1 shot.
Une Artiste was the first of the pair to commit for home in the hands of Barry Geraghty, but Byerley Babe was travelling powerfully in behind in the hands of Phillip Enright.
There was little to choose between the pair jumping the final obstacle and after a thrilling tussle on the run-in, they passed the post virtually as one.
After a brief wait, the judge called Byerley Babe the winner by a nose.
Tyner said: "She got a bit tight to the fourth-last, but I thought she'd sail past them at the next. Phillip said she just drifted a little to the left on the run-in.
"She's a fine, big strong mare who travels well in her races.
"It was a black type race and a nice pot, so it's great to win it.
"She's not qualified for the next mares' chase back here in a few weeks and she might run next in a Graded race at Limerick on St Patrick's weekend."