Friday 17 November 2017

Andrew Lynch pulls it out of fire to land spoils on Oscar

Andrew Lynch was at his best at Listowel
Andrew Lynch was at his best at Listowel
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Kerry National hero Andrew Lynch was again at his imperious best when coaxing Rodger Sweeney's Fiery Oscar to the front late on in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at Listowel.

Under pressure when lying just sixth turning in after Lynch had bided his time at the back of the field, Fiery Oscar eventually found plenty to prevail in a frenetic finish.

With the favourite Grange misfiring, Blacklough and Pires initially traded blows up the straight before Lynch played his hand wide and late, swooping after the last flight on Sweeney's prolific eight-year-old.

Backed from 16/1 into a 12/1 SP, Fiery Oscar was scoring for a fifth time this year, with the €26,000 winner's purse taking his 2013 earnings to €51,000.

"He is like myself, still improving," quipped popular Castlelyons handler Sweeney, whose wife Joan owns the money-spinning victor. "The two-mile trip is a bit short for him, but the soft ground helped to bring the others back to him in the end."

Blacklough's rider Andrew Leigh enjoyed slightly better luck aboard Owega Star in the beginners' chase. With White Star Line ineligible for the race after his famous triumph under Lynch 24 hours earlier, Owega Star was sent off a solid 11/10 favourite.

Successful in graded company over flights, Peter Fahey's six-year-old duly showed his class to see off Clonbanan Lad with some authority.

"He loves plenty cut in the ground," Fahey said after Owega Star got in tight to the last fence en route to success, before adding that he would step into graded company again at Tipperary next month.

Johnny Byrne, brother of White Star Line's owner Patsy, provided another local success when Blackwell Synergy took the three-mile handicap hurdle in the hands of Eddie O'Connell.

Blunder

Trained in the Byrnes' home village of Duagh by Ballyduff native John Supple, the 10/1 shot had Baresi beaten before a last-flight blunder nullified the runner-up's effort.

Earlier, Jim Bolger's Fulminata became the first horse to win twice at the riverside venue this week when validating its theoretical advantage in the mile handicap.

Due to go up a stone after Monday's rout, she was well in to the tune of 16lbs here under a 5lb penalty when you factored in Killian Hennessy's seven-pound claim.

Sure enough, the 20-year-old Youghal-born rider enjoyed a smooth outing, and the green and orange silks of owner-breeder Ballylinch Stud were back in the winner's circle when Sho Girl sprung a 25/1 upset for Patrick Prendergast and Declan McDonogh in the long-distance handicap.

The Mount Juliet operation also stands Sho Girl's sire, Lawman.

In the three-year-old maiden, Lady O'Reilly's Late Rosebud (9/4) upstaged favourite Madam Mo by a yawning eight and half lengths for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen.

At the 14th time of asking in the mile maiden, Tom Cleary's Truly Delightful justified strong market support (20/1 into 12/1) by holding off Muntasaf by a head under Fran Berry, whose uncle Paddy shares ownership of the Kalinisi filly with Dermot Smith.

"It's emotional, as Fran's aunt Carmel Fay, a sister of Paddy's, passed away recently," Cleary said. "I would have been happy with a place finish, so I'm delighted she won."

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