Wednesday 13 December 2017

Byrnes coy on Cheltenham chances despite Jupiter lift-off

Thomas Kelly

Sounds Of Jupiter is a possible for the Cheltenham Festival after landing the odds in yesterday's Maiden Hurdle at Limerick.

Paul Townend oozed confidence on the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding who held Ned Of The Hill by three-quarters of a length.

"He didn't have that much to spare at the end of the day. He ran a bit free though and I'd suppose he'll go for a winners of one. We won't aim too high," said trainer Charles Byrnes.

Nevertheless, the Ballingarry handler will enter his 2/5 winner for the Triumph and Fred Winter Juvenile Novices' Hurdles at Cheltenham.

Townend completed a double when guiding The Kings Sword to a 12-length victory for trainer Kieran Purcell in the Family Racing Weekend Maiden Hurdle.

Jockey Ken Whelan was on the scoresheet thanks to Ballyvoile in the EBF Novice Hurdle. The 9/2 shot shrugged off Mr Clyde to win by a length with five lengths back to the gambled-on Kusadasi as disappointing favourite For The Staff trailed home.

A year since Conor O'Dwyer and Niki O'Shea landed a fine double at Greenmount Park, the pair struck again when Presenting Massey landed the Greenmount Beginners Chase by a length and a half.

Backed into a starting price of 5/1, the son of Presenting stayed on best from the back of the last to see off Victram and Smack That.

"Hopefully the handicapper won't murder him and he'll be a nice handicapper for the spring and summer," said O'Dwyer.

Philip Rothwell continued his excellent run when Got The Urge finally shed his maiden tag at the 31st attempt when running out a convincing 10-length winner of the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase. Donal MacAuley rode the chestnut son of Snurge and he got to the front off a fast gallop entering the straight to go clear and beat Mont Tresor.

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