Thursday 22 February 2018

Glantara gets Ruby back in the groove

Glantara and Ruby Walsh soar over the final fence in spectacular style on their way to landing the Jameson Novice Chase at Killarney last night. Photo: Healy Racing
Glantara and Ruby Walsh soar over the final fence in spectacular style on their way to landing the Jameson Novice Chase at Killarney last night. Photo: Healy Racing

Thomas Kelly

Ruby Walsh secured his first win since returning from injury as Glantara triumphed in the Jameson Novice Chase at Killarney last night.

The rider had been sidelined for over four months after breaking his arm in a fall at Aintree on Grand National day back in April.

Walsh finished third on his first ride back at Roscommon on Monday, but wasted little time in showing his skills aboard Glantara, which made all to score by five and a half lengths from Armaramak.

"It's great to be back and the arm feels good. The horse jumped like a buck throughout," Walsh said.

Afterwards, winning trainer John Kiely was full of praise for his jockey: "A confident ride is just what he needed."

Top Spin registered a 25/1 success in the Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap to cap a memorable evening for trainer John Murphy.

On the mark with Praise Be (12/1), which triumphed under Leigh Roche in the opening juvenile fillies maiden, Murphy teamed up with 7lb-claimer Sam James in the feature event.

Content to track the early pace, Top Spin unleashed his challenge two furlongs out and, after taking it up inside the distance, he dug deep to repel Alpine Eagle by half a length.

"He's tough and improving every month, he has a beautiful attitude and travels well and quickens well off the pace," said Murphy.

Pat Flynn and Danny Grant combined to good effect with 11/1 shot Waydownsouth in the Cork Bar & Catering Handicap. "We were hoping he'd run well but we didn't think he'd win. I hope he runs just as well next time out," said Flynn.

The Andrew Lynch-ridden Lady Hillingdon got back to winning ways when coming home in front of Watermelon in the McSweeney Arms Hotel Mares Beginners Chase for trainer Paul Gilligan.

The seven-year-old battled well on the run-in when strongly pressed. A relieved Gilligan said afterwards: "It's nice to be back in the winner's enclosure.

"I have no real plans for her. She's very tough and she just does enough when she's in front."

Across the water, Cork native Noel Fehily was in the wars again yesterday morning when he was airlifted to hospital in Swindon following a schooling accident in Lambourn.

Fortunately, Charlie Mann's stable jockey was later discharged after undergoing tests, but while his injuries are not as bad as first feared he may have broken his collar-bone. Fehily only returned to the track 13 days ago at Worcester, having been off since January with a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, Chepstow have been forced to abandon this evening's Flat meeting due to damaged grass roots at the course.

Irish Independent

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