Saturday 16 December 2017

Maguire grabs a brace as O'Regan lands nine-day ban

Thomas Kelly

IT was a day of mixed fortunes for Irish jockeys at Haydock yesterday

While five of six races were won by riders from these shores -- which included a double for Jason Maguire -- the afternoon ended on a sour note as Denis O'Regan was banned for nine days after landing the closing bumper.

The stewards ruled that O'Regan, on board well-backed winner Chancery, and 5lb claimer Brian Toomey on runner-up Omid were both guilty of using the whip with excessive frequency.

O'Regan was found to have hit debutant Chancery 12 times and will be unable to ride from December 2 to 10. The Cork native also forfeited his percentage of the prizemoney. Toomey was suspended for five days.

Earlier, Maguire continued his impressive return from injury by partnering Desert Cry to victory in the opening handicap hurdle and following up with an easy success on the promising Super Duty. Both winners are trained by Donald McCain, who said of Maguire: "It's good to have him back. He's a big part of the set-up."

The McCain/Maguire brace was completed by odds-on favourite Super Duty which made most to give weight in the Fixed Brush Novices Hurdle.

Tony McCoy and Nicky Henderson also enjoyed a double on the card. Their first winner came in the graduation chase as Nadiya De La Vega scored on her seasonal debut for owner JP McManus. The mare had 10 lengths to spare over Doctor David, but might have had to work harder had Paul Nicholls' favourite Toubab not put Ruby Walsh on the floor at the third-last.

The pair's second success came courtesy of a hard-fought win for Molotof in the novices' hurdle for four-year-olds.

Mr Moonshine had Harvey Smith dreaming of future glories after an impressive display to win the Junior Betfair Novices' Chase.

The 11/4 winner's task was made a little easier by the fall of favourite Tornado Bob, which gave McCoy an awkward, but ultimately safe landing in the back straight.

Smith, husband of trainer Sue, is hoping Mr Moonshine will benefit from their sensible handling and may progress. "If we give him a chance to develop, I think he could be tops," he said.

Irish Independent

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