McParlan steals a march on rivals to take Fairyhouse spoils
Amateur rider Noel McParlan caught his professional colleagues napping by partnering Back To Balloo to a convincing success at Fairyhouse.
Showing plenty of initiative, McParlan stole a march on the opposition by building up a big lead on Colin McBratney's grey in the two-mile, one-furlong beginners' chase and the partnership kept going strongly to win easily.
The Gordon Elliott-trained favourite Arzembouy Premier went after him in the closing stages along with Prima Vista, but they never looked like getting near enough and Back To Balloo, despite jumping left, skipped away to score by eight and a half lengths.
Elliott enjoyed better luck in the opening maiden hurdle when dual bumper scorer Time For A Pint (4/1) won on his jumps debut under Davy Condon. The Cork rider stepped in for the injured Paul Carberry and drove his mount between horses to lead before the final flight before staying on well for a two-and-a-quarter-length success from She's A Leader.
David Wachman is best known for the exploits of his Flat horses, but Pageboy flies the flag for him over the jumps and the six-year-old landed his first fencing success in the other beginners' chase over two and three-quarter miles.
Favourite Cailin Annamh took a horrible fall at the second-last and Paul Townend drove Pageboy (3/1) ahead to beat Presenting Beara by two lengths.
Mark Enright made all in the three-mile handicap chase on Knockanarrigan, which had to survive a couple of scares before justifying 2/1 favouritism in the three-mile handicap chase.
The market leader held the lead approaching the final fence over the staying-on Fennis Moll. Enright secured a fine leap from Knockanarrigan at that final fence; the gelding slipped on landing on the rain-softened surface, but Enright's mount rallied and battled gamely for a short-head win.
Thanks to the persistence of Brian Hayes, top-weight Allez Vic (9/2) won an exciting duel with Vasco Du Mee in the three-mile handicap hurdle, while Henry de Bromhead's mare Cordelia Belle (5/1) stayed on gamely under Andrew Lynch to sweep past Hareth and take the Family Day 13th July Handicap Hurdle.
Robbie McNamara had a relatively simple task in the bumper, in which he guided Tony Martin's 4/6 favourite Marinero to a comfortable success from promising newcomer Xpectations.