Thursday 14 December 2017

Doyle mare makes it a bookies' 'Benefit' in Clonmel opener

Henry de Bromhead's five-year-old Exxaro lost out at Clonmel
Henry de Bromhead's five-year-old Exxaro lost out at Clonmel

Thomas Kelly

Bookies in the ring at Clonmel got their evening off to a perfect start thanks to the defeat of odds-on favourite Exxaro in the opening maiden hurdle.

Henry de Bromhead's five-year-old was installed 8/15 market leader on the back of several decent outings in bumpers and over hurdles, but he had no answer to Eoin Doyle's 10/1 shot Supreme Benefit which was running in the colours of Padraig Barry.

Despite having her first run since last October, Adam O'Neill's mount travelled well for most of the two-mile contest and took up the running on the approach to the home straight.

All the while Exxaro was under a drive from Paul Townend and while the favourite stayed on resolutely, Supreme Benefit kept going to claim a half-length win with Deputy Marshall two lengths back in third.

Punters got back on track in the following handicap hurdle as Gordon Elliott's 11/8 favourite Tempo Mac justified strong market support to run out a two-and-a-half-length winner in the hands of Bryan Cooper.

Favourite backers were also on the mark in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle as the Karl Thornton-trained Colms Dream edged out Gold Class by three-parts of a length under a strong drive from Johnny Barry.

Doyle, meanwhile, completed a 54/1 double when he teamed up with jockey Mickey Butler to land the three-mile novice chase with Corrigs which scooted over seven lengths clear of Valentino's Choice.

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