Friday 19 January 2018

Late pile-up causes havoc at Gowran

Thomas Kelly

THERE was carnage in the first division of yesterday's bumper at Gowran Park where several horses were brought down on the final bend when one of the leaders was fatally injured.

As the field approached the home turn, there was no indication of what was to happen until the strong-travelling Once And For All broke down badly and fell.

The riders in behind had no chance of avoiding the stricken horse which brought down Dark Caviar and Toberlownagh Lady while Castlemcniff was badly hampered and unseated his rider. In addition, Dell Money slipped up and hampered and unseated Coco Be Cool.

The only ones not involved in the melee were the first five home, which were ahead of the drama, and it was left to former point-to-pointer Bach To Whitingbay (6/1) to gallop home in front from 2/1 favourite Desert Hall.

That was a second winner for Co Waterford handler Richard Morrissey, who has held his licence for a month.

There was also drama before the off as Kilapsy had to be withdrawn after unseating Nina Carberry on the way to the start. The horse was withdrawn and despite a sore collarbone, Carberry avoided a trip to the hospital.

There was a thrilling finish to the bumper's second division as Colin McBratney's Butney Rock edged out fellow 11/4 joint-favourite Run For Firth.

The day's feature went the way of Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins as Security Breach stayed on strongly to claim the Jack Duggan Memorial Handicap Hurdle.

Walsh was never too far off the pace before sending the Gigginstown House Stud-owned 13/2 shot to the front approaching the penultimate hurdle.

Raggletagglegypsy tried to mount a challenge but made a mistake at the final flight and it was left to the well-backed favourite, Usa, to claim the runner-up spot – just over two lengths behind.

Walsh completed a double as Giant's Quest finally broke his duck over obstacles in the two-mile maiden hurdle. The 8/13 favourite was always travelling nicely and the Harry Rogers-trained inmate beat Fairview Star by five-and-a-half lengths.

On a day not short of controversy, Zabana showed plenty determination to land the conditions hurdle after joint-favourite Bensoon had whipped around and been left at the start.

This left Zabana and the other joint-favourite, Hurricane Ridge, to fight out the finish, and Andrew Lynch's inmate battled on well for Robbie Colgan to take the spoils.

Irish Independent

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