Ballinrobe stewards hit Doran with 50-day ban
THOMAS DORAN was banned for 50 days by the Ballinrobe stewards after he was found to have not achieved the best possible placing aboard Massini's Trap in the opening race last night.
Doran's mount was an eye-catching third in the Paddy Smyth Memorial Maiden Hurdle, finishing with a wet sail in the hands of the 7lb claimer after racing well off the pace.
The stewards took a dim view of Doran's efforts in the plate, finding that he had failed to take all reasonable and permissible measures to obtain the best possible placing before imposing a 50-day suspension.
Having interviewed both Doran and trainer James Nash, both confirmed that the instructions were to jump off in fifth or sixth before creeping into the race. Doran admitted that he left the horse with too much to do and Nash expressed his disappointment with the ride.
The stewards were of the opinion that Doran was in breach of Rule 212(a)(i) in that he failed to take reasonable and permissible measures throughout the race. Victory in the contest went to the Paul Flynn-trained The Ring Is King (10/3), which made all the running under Keith Donoghue to edge out 10/11 favourite Macbeth.
Meanwhile, Ruby Walsh was at his brilliant best in getting hot favourite Darroun home by a nose in the McHale Engineering Hurdle.
The former champion was hard at work on the Willie Mullins-trained grey a mile from the finish as Robbie Dunne went for home aboard Stephen Mahon's Aranhill Chief.
Despite a mistake at the second last hurdle, Darroun responded to Walsh's urgings and the Susannah Ricci-owned gelding galloped all the way to the line to pip Aranhill Chief in an exciting finish.
Dunne and Mahon later gained compensation when Green Thirty Two (7/1) beat Rolling Rocket by five and a half lengths to capture the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle.
Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power were on the mark in the Mayo News Maiden Hurdle as former classy Flat handicapper Bob Le Beau finally broke his duck over obstacles.
A disappointing favourite at Limerick last time out, Bob Le Beau settled much better this time as Power held up his mount behind the leaders in the early stages before going for home at the second last.
After quickly getting the better of favourite Spot Fine, the 9/2 shot stayed on strongly to see off Phillys Fancy by just over two lengths.