Saturday 24 March 2018

Doyle extends Rich vein of form

Liz Doyle was given a timely boost ahead of Le Vent D'Antan's run in the Cheltenham bumper when Rich Revival took the featured Leinster National at Naas.

The Co Wexford handler, going in search of her first Festival winner, has her team in top form at the right time and Rich Revival (7/1) kept up the good work with a game win in the staying handicap chase.

Brian O'Connell rode a patient race on the nine-year-old, weaving his way through the pack to challenge at the final fence. He was tackled hard by Murchu on the run-in but got the verdict by three-quarters of a length. Rare Bob ran a gallant race under top weight to claim third just a length and a half away.

"It was great to get another one before Cheltenham," Doyle's partner and assistant Barry Murphy said. "I'm delighted to get that win as his aim all year has been the Irish National."

Davy Russell struck on Dedigout (7/4 favourite) in the Naas Directors' Plate Novice Chase. A Grade One-winning hurdler last season, he had disappointed the last twice over fences but looked a class above his Grade Three rivals.

Tony Martin's charge led between the last two fences and pulled seven-and-a-half lengths clear of the pace-setting You Must Know Me.

"He was unlucky at Leopardstown as he missed the second fence and he lost his confidence," said Martin. "He likes that ground and he is ground-dependent. We will leave it a week or two now and see how the ground goes."

Martin later doubled up with the Robbie McNamara-ridden Quickpick Vic (7/2) in the bumper.

Paul Carberry brought Mallowney with a perfectly timed run to take Listed honours in the Kingsfurze Novice Hurdle. Carberry delivered Tim Doyle's seven-year-old with a strong challenge between the final two flights to deny Shrapnel by a length and a quarter.

"I thought the handicapper was a bit hard on him but he showed today that he is up to that class," said Doyle.

"We will look to Fairyhouse and Punchestown now to take on the big boys."

Dressedtothenines (12/1) followed up a fortunate success at Punchestown with victory in the Naas Supporters' Handicap Hurdle. Eddie Harty's six-year-old kept on well to score by a length and a quarter from Vics Canvas.

The Ted Walsh-trained Foxrock opened his account as he justified 5/4 favouritism for owner Barry Connell and his newly appointed retained jockey Danny Mullins in the Sunday Market At Naas Racecourse Maiden Hurdle.

Francis Flood's Wicklow Lad made all to land the Panoramic Restaurant For Mother's Day Handicap Hurdle under 5lb claimer Paddy Kennedy, while Sean Flanagan got Hidden Future (9/1) home in the beginners' chase for Colin McBratney.

Irish Independent

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