Saturday 16 December 2017

Martin happy with Dedigout's Drinmore run despite defeat

Thomas Kelly

MEATH handler Tony Martin is not too downbeat after Dedigout's failure to cope with Arvika Ligeonniere in the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.

Dedigout was sent off the even-money favourite to claim his second chase success following a bloodless debut victory at Punchestown, but was unable to reel in the front-running Willie Mullins runner.

"He ran well and the winner is obviously a very good horse which has always been held in high regard by Willie Mullins. There is no disgrace in finishing second to him," said Martin. "Our horse looks like he'll stay three miles all right and we know heavy ground isn't a problem for him either.

"He seems fine this morning, but we'll just see how he is over the next few weeks, enter him up at Christmas and see how we go."

Martin was thrilled with the weekend performance of stable star Bog Warrior, which barely came off the bridle when scoring over hurdles on Saturday.

The eight-year-old won last year's Drinmore but a heavy fall last Christmas led to a disappointing end to the season. He was in the process of running well on his return at Down Royal until falling at the final fence and Martin hopes a confidence-boosting win over the smaller obstacles will have done him the world of good.

"He's just a very good horse. He was unlucky last year as you don't get over falls like he had quickly," said Martin. "We've taken our time with him and we were delighted with him on Saturday. There doesn't seem to be a bother on him.

"He was running a good race in (Down Royal) the time before and just got tired, so it was nice to see him do what he did the other day.

"I don't know where he'll go next. We'll just go easy with him and see."

Elsewhere, Harry Fry has confirmed Rock On Ruby is on course for the International Hurdle after missing the Fighting Fifth Hurdle due to the ground.

"Cheltenham a week on Saturday is very much the plan," Fry said. "It's a shame we couldn't run in the Fighting Fifth, but we were more happy with the decision we made and look forward to Cheltenham."

Irish Independent

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