McNamara times his move to perfection on Slieveardagh
Edward O'Grady's Slieveardagh yesterday landed the feature race of the final session of Killarney's four-day autumn festival, the Batty O'Sullivan Frayden Haulage Ltd Handicap Hurdle.
Last seen finishing fourth in the ultra-competitive Galway Hurdle behind the likes of Overturn and subsequent Ebor winner Dirar, he was able to run off just a 1lb higher mark. Andrew McNamara bided his time on the six-year-old before picking off Jessica Harrington's Dreamy Gent to win by two and a half lengths.
Eoin Doyle's run of luck continued when Winners Toast took the Grand Hotel Killarney Handicap Hurdle in the hands of Mickey Butler, who was deputising for the injured Shay Barry.
Butler, who was never too far off the pace, hit the front approaching three out and kept on well to record a four-and-a-half-length win over Giant Sequoia.
Dermot Weld's Unaccompanied (13/8 fav) impressed when winning the Seamus Weldon John Deer Main Dealer Race. A winner at the Galway Festival last time out, the Moyglare Stud-owned filly could have a bright future. Pat Smullen pushed the button leading into the straight for an immediate response as she won by three lengths from Alsalwa.
Kevin Prendergast's Mawaakef was another winning favourite in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden. A promising fourth on his debut at The Curragh behind Pathfork, the 7/4 jolly didn't have things all his own way. Aidan O'Brien's Factum, under Seamie Heffernan, made him work but Declan McDonogh's mount won by a head.
"I thought he'd win a little easier," said McDonogh. "He's a nice staying horse."
Heffernan was brilliant in driving Cannot Give (14/1) to victory in the Ross Golf Club/Killarney Racegoers Club Handicap. There didn't look to be a gap up the rails but he went up the inside of Belle Chose to win by two lengths.
In Kilbeggan, Paul Carberry was seen at his confident best aboard Supercede in the Loughnagore Handicap Chase. Gordon Elliott's gelding won by 12 lengths from Westmeath Bachelor.