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Knockfierna glory for golden Geraghty


Man of the moment Barry Geraghty continued his golden run with victory on Knockfierna in yesterday's ITBA Fillies Scheme EBF Dawn Run Mares Novice Chase at Limerick.

Geraghty rode five of Nicky Henderson's seven winners at the Cheltenham Festival and, if that wasn't enough, he went on to Kempton on Saturday to win on three of his four rides for the Seven Barrows handler.

Booked by Charles Byrnes to ride the classy Knockfierna, which had already won twice at this Grade Three level previously over fences, he showed his recent winners had filled him full of confidence.

Left with just one serious rival to beat after the fall four out of Belle Brook, Geraghty only pushed the button after the last and the 8/11 favourite shot clear to win by nine lengths from Special Token.

"She's a hell of a mare. The form of her run here at Christmas (when she ran out at the second-last) has worked out really well with Sir Des Champs winning at Cheltenham and Four Commanders also running well," said Byrnes.

"I have no regrets about not taking her to Cheltenham. This was a nice pot and after Christmas this was the plan.

"She would have been put at risk going to Cheltenham. She might have one more run this season but I don't have any definite plans yet."

Elsewhere on the Mother's Day card, it was three father-and-son partnerships who went home happy.

Jimmy and Paddy Mangan combined to win the Kerry Group EBF Mares Novice Hurdle with Noras Fancy.

Eddie Harty's Dressedtothenines was sent off favourite to cap a memorable week for owner JP McManus, but the writing was on the wall early in the straight as Paddy Mangan made a positive move on the 7/1 chance and stole two lengths approaching the second-last.

Madam Bouvray and Shadow Eile both emerged from the pack as chasers but neither could make much impression and Noras Fancy ran out a convincing two-and-three-quarter-length winner.

There was a 33/1 surprise in the Ballynoe Stables Handicap Hurdle when Peccatorum arrived late on the scene under Andrew McNamara.

Trained by his father, also Andrew, the five-year-old had been settled out the back early on and could be spotted making stealthy headway.

The well-backed favourite Whiskey Hall had struck for home after the second-last and his backers would have been counting their money.

However, McNamara had yet to play his cards and swept around the outside to leap in front at the final flight, going on to win by an impressive six and a half lengths, making it two father-and-son combinations to win on the card.

"I put that win down to jockeyship," said the winning trainer.

"Andrew said when he came in that he thought he had gone too fast with a circuit to go, although he was last. So if he felt that he had gone too fast what had the rest of them done!

"He will have a summer campaign now and I'd say he will be better on better ground, but I may be wrong."

Not to be outdone, Willie and Patrick Mullins combined as Mozoltov justified 11/8 favouritism in the closing bumper.

Outsider Ample Appeal delighted the bookies with a 33/1 success in the opening maiden hurdle. The Philip Rothwell-trained six-year-old had shown precious little form in seven previous starts, but Andrew Ring, riding his first ever winner, came with an irresistible run down the outside and went on to beat Busty Brown by three lengths.

The novice chase was won by John McConnell's 2/1 favourite Swanfold.

Irish Independent