Sunday 25 March 2018

Dramatic Cootamundra victory sparks Ruby treble

Thomas Kelly

Cloudgazer landed a nice gamble when claiming the Lynn Lodge Stud Maiden at Navan last night for trainer Noel Meade.

The Dalakhani gelding had been backed from 10/1 in the morning and was eventually sent off 5/2 favourite on course.

Colm O'Donoghue sent him to the front a furlong-and-a-half from home and shook off the attentions of Aragorn Rouge to score by a length.

This victory completed an across-the-card double for Meade, who sent out Virgil Earp to land the opening maiden hurdle at Wexford.

Ruby Walsh, however, was the star of the show at the south-east venue, where he completed a 26/1 treble.

First up was his victory aboard the well-backed 10/11 favourite Cootamundra, which recorded a dramatic success in the Vinegar Hill Maiden Hurdle.

John Berry's odds-on shot received a classic Walsh ride. Cootamundra gradually got into contention and was about to hit the front at the final flight when his only danger Sligo hit the deck.

Sligo fell awkwardly, appearing to kick Walsh's reins, leaving the rider without a right rein on the run-in. Walsh succeeded in avoiding the chase fence, but had virtually no control of Cootamundra in the final 100 yards, the gelding eventually finishing against the stands' rail for a five-lengths win over Carbon Credit.

Walsh's other two wins were for Tony Martin -- firstly on the 2/1 favourite Redera which scored with something to spare in the Welling-tonbridge Novice Hurdle and then aboard Somatic in the Courtown Beginners Chase.

Irish Independent

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