Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 18 February 2018

Harrington to target Mr Fiftyone at Naas for quick double

Thomas Kelly

Mr Fiftyone could make a swift return in a Grade Three at Naas on Saturday after he made a pleasing hurdling debut at Fairyhouse.

The four-year-old gelding stretched 10 lengths clear for the Maiden Hurdle and could now run in the Fishery Lane Hurdle this weekend.

Trainer Jessica Harrington also earmarked the Grade One Royal Bond back at Fairyhouse as a long-term objective for the 13/8 market leader.

"He's only a four-year-old and is going to improve. He's a chaser really," said the Moone, Co Kildare, handler.

"He's in again on Saturday and I'd like to get another run into him before the Royal Bond just to give him some practice. It's just an idea at the moment and we'll see whether he runs at the weekend or not. He didn't have too hard a race there."

A successful afternoon for favourite-backers at the Co Meath venue began when the Willie Mullins-trained Alelchi Inois made all in the opening EBF Novice Hurdle at odds of 11/10.

Ruby Walsh's mount was allowed to bowl along in front and faced only minor resistance en route to success, not having to come off the bridle until after the final flight.

Somethingwonderful threatened to mount a challenge around the bend, but his effort petered out, leaving Aerlite Supreme to stay on doggedly to reduce the winning margin to a well-held length and three-quarters.

The Conor O'Dwyer-trained College Boy was strongly backed in the Fairyhouse Premier Jump Racing Weekend Handicap Hurdle and duly obliged in the colours of JP McManus. The 7/2 favourite was always travelling well in the hands of Mark Walsh, who steered his mount with a well-timed challenge to wear down Bahati Boy by a length and three-quarters.

Brian Nolan's Fire Belt (10/1) had plenty of experience to call upon in the Follow Fairyhouse On Twitter Maiden Hurdle and with three in with a chance at the last, Ben Dalton's mount responded well to driving to account for Captainofthefleet by a length.

An even bigger outsider, Flying Windsor, took the Ratoath Handicap Chase for Roger Loughran and Bill Lanigan as the 20/1 shot stayed on dourly to triumph by just over three lengths.

Bryan Cooper and Dessie Hughes combined with Father Jack in the two and a half mile handicap hurdle as the 9/2 joint favourite came with a storming run up the centre of the track to prevail by three and a half lengths from Redclue.

Jim Dreaper's Los Amigos (7/2) landed the closing beginners' chase after a a thrilling finish as he edged out favourite Grand Jesture by a length under a determined Eddie O'Connell.

Irish Independent

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