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'Farouk' delivers double joy for McGarvey

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'It was the culmination of a good half an hour for McGarvey after he easily landed the opening maiden hurdle on 1/8 hotpot Ciel De Neige for trainer Willie Mullins.' (stock image)

'It was the culmination of a good half an hour for McGarvey after he easily landed the opening maiden hurdle on 1/8 hotpot Ciel De Neige for trainer Willie Mullins.' (stock image)

'It was the culmination of a good half an hour for McGarvey after he easily landed the opening maiden hurdle on 1/8 hotpot Ciel De Neige for trainer Willie Mullins.' (stock image)

The Long Mile suffered a heavy fall on his seasonal return at Punchestown last month, but that bad memory was cast aside in some style as the Philip Dempsey-trained six-year-old turned the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase into a procession.

It was an attritional performance on extremely testing ground and Niall 'Slippers' Madden's mount didn't look the likeliest winner turning in, but once getting to the front before the final fence the 18/1 outsider put 22 lengths between himself and gallant topweight Articulum.

The Grade 2 Lyons of Limerick Jaguar Land Rover Novice Hurdle, due to be run on Sunday, was switched on to this card instead of going to the rescheduled fixture tomorrow, and it meant some scrabbling around by trainers to get replacement jockeys.

The luckiest beneficiary was Jody McGarvey, who was booked for the plum ride on the Gordon Elliott-trained Farouk D'Alene (2/1 fav), and he did not let the opportunity go to waste. Sending his mount to the front early in the back straight, he made the rest and put his jumping to good use as he held off the staying-on Vanillier by three-parts of a length.

"It was hard work out there - it takes some amount of getting, but he was super tough," said McGarvey.

"He jumped and travelled beautifully and I was confident he would stay. I knew it would be hard work, but I was able to save enough energy before the turn in to get me home."

It was the culmination of a good half an hour for McGarvey after he easily landed the opening maiden hurdle on 1/8 hotpot Ciel De Neige for trainer Willie Mullins.

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