Sport Horse Racing

Friday 23 March 2018

'Chateau' proves right vintage for Ruby

Jockey Ruby Walsh steered Chateau Conti to victory in the Fairyhouse Hurdle yesterday. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Jockey Ruby Walsh steered Chateau Conti to victory in the Fairyhouse Hurdle yesterday. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Chateau Conti got back on track for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh in the Fairyhouse Hurdle yesterday.

The French import looked exciting when making a winning start to his Irish career at Cork in January but his limitations were exposed in the Deloitte and he was pulled up in a couple of subsequent starts.

He has clearly improved during his summer holiday, though, because, after tracking The Storyteller when the market leader took it up after two out, a slicker leap at the last carried Chateau Conti (2/1) to the front and he ran right the way to the line to win with two-and-a-quarter lengths to spare.

Walsh said: "I thought The Storyteller maybe had me going to the last but he made a bad mistake.

"It's a good starting point but we thought we had a good starting point last year as well and it went downhill, so time will tell how we get on."

Mitchouka did all that was expected of him in the Maiden Hurdle.

Just touched off on his jumping debut at Thurles, Gordon Elliott's French import was sent off the 1/5 favourite and headed the chasing pack as Dan Gun raced into a clear lead.

He closed the gap to take it up travelling powerfully two out, which he got slightly wrong, but there was plenty left in the tank and a better jump at the last helped him ease 10 lengths away from Tenth Amendment.

"It wasn't the strongest race in the world but he did it nicely," said Elliott. "He probably came on a good bit from the last day. He was as fit as I could have him but, like a lot of ours, they come on for the first run."

Poormans Hill was denied a five-timer in the Ladies Handicap Chase by Witness Of Fashion (20/1). The Elliott-trained 9/10 favourite jumped the last in a share of the lead with Witness Of Fashion and The Bay Birch, but it was Pat Rooney's veteran which found most to prevail by a neck under Jeannie Cook.

Rooney said: "He surprised me as I thought he'd need the race. I was aiming for next week really.

"He travelled lovely. I ride him myself at home and he's been feeling great. He's used to carrying 13 stone and had only 9-10 today."

Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power enjoyed a double as Jetz made it second-time lucky over timber and Magic Of Light was allowed another uncontested lead in the Beginners' Chase and took full advantage to see off Tinos Tank by six lengths.

Phillip Enright came with a well-timed challenge on Shar Whats Therush, which left his previous form behind to take the second-last Handicap Hurdle at odds of 9/1, while Roja Dove (8/1) made her first start for Peter Fahey a winning one in the last race.

Conor Brassil was taken to hospital after suffering a suspected broken leg. The 5lb claimer was partnering Demi Plie when his mount came to grief at the third flight.

Irish Independent

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