Thursday 23 November 2017

Dun Doire earns crack at Foxhunter Chase after classy victory

Robert Pugh

Dun Doire booked his place in the Cheltenham Foxhunter Chase when taking the Ladies Open at Nenagh yesterday.

A former Cheltenham festival winner when trained by Tony Martin, he is now under the care of young trainer and former jockey Sam Curling, who is son of equine artist Peter Curling.

Settled well off the early pace by Claire MacMahon, he crept into it on the final circuit and joined long-time leader Mattock Ranger at the last, going on to win by just over two lengths.

Having won his first Open at Kilfeacle a week earlier, this now qualifies him to run at Cheltenham, where he will be one of the leading fancies to win.

Colin Bowe provided the opening winner on the card when Monbeg Dude made an impressive winning debut under JD Moore at the expense of Imperial Policy.

In the Winners Race, Wexford-based Paul Pierce saddled Piercestown Rocket under Jason McKeown to take advantage of the last-fence error of the favourite Wattstown Express and go away to win by a couple of lengths.

Margaret O'Sullivan and Michael O'Connor have been combining well this season and they produced According To Lizzy to win the Mares' Maiden. This six- year-old daughter of Accordion out of a Strong Gale mare stepped up to see off Silver Skirt in the closing stages.

Enda Bolger and John Thomas McNamara combined in the six- year-old Geldings' Maiden when Zest For Life narrowly held off the challenge of Smooth Approach.

A Treble at Dungarvan assisted Derek O'Connor to the top of the riders table for the first time this season having been 12 behind at one point.

Carberry facing spell on sidelines due to toe injury

Nina Carberry faces a spell on the sidelines after breaking a bone in her toe in a nasty accident at Leopardstown on Saturday.

The leading Irish amateur remains in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, following an operation.

The incident happened about three furlongs out in the Ladbrokes Cheltenham Bumper (Pro/Am) INH Flat when her toe clipped a piece of rail. She managed to complete the race, finishing second on Timesawastin behind impressive winner Hidden Universe.

"There was a piece of rail sticking out at the three-furlong marker and her left foot clipped off it and she's broken a little bone in her little toe," said her agent Shane Lyons.

"She's going to be in hospital for a few days because the bone was exposed to the air and they want to make sure nothing gets into it.

"It sounds gruesome, but she's not in any pain and she's in good form."

Irish Independent

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