Sunday 18 February 2018

Mossey Joe impresses with bloodless victory

Thomas Kelly

EXCITING novice chaser Mossey Joe did it like an odds-on chance should in the O'Keeffe, O'Shea, O'Connor Solicitors Novice Chase at Killarney last night in the hands of Barry Geraghty.

Running for Clare trainer Declan McNamara, the strapping eight-year-old recorded his fifth career victory on just his seventh start. The 4/5 market leader recorded a bloodless victory from Ainama in second.

"He did what we hoped he'd do. When he is right he is very good," said McNamara. "He is very keen and we have tried everything to settle him down, but nothing makes a difference. He had earplugs in today. Barry (Geraghty) said he probably wants reasonably good ground and he might have one more run before we put him away."

Sounds of Jupiter looked to have the opening two-mile novice chase in the bag when jumping the last in the lead, but there was to be a sad end as Charles Byrnes' five-year-old went badly wrong on the run-in.

Davy Russell had to pull him up as Tom Doyle swept past on the Pat Flavin-trained Big Dano (28/1) which just held off the fast-finishing Meritorious. Sounds of Jupiter later collapsed and died.

Harold's Cross won for the first time in 12 attempts when he put up a commanding performance under a big weight in the Killarney Outlook Handicap Chase under Alan Crowe.

The betting suggested Betrothed and Gatamalata would dominate the auction maiden, but neither could strike a blow. Kate Greenaway led a quarter of a mile out but was soon tackled by Further Detail, and Andy Oliver's 8/1 shot got the better of the duel by half a length under Pat Smullen. A quick double followed for Smullen when he won the closing conditions event aboard the well-backed Sense Of Purpose for Dermot Weld.

The action switches to Punchestown this evening which hosts an all-jumps card, in which Jessica Harrington's classy bumper performer Greenbelt Star makes its debut over hurdles. He looks to have enough going for him to see off Sir Walter Raleigh.

The two-mile handicap chase is the richest contest of the seven-race card, and Finger Onthe Pulse merits respect off top weight. The consistent Battlefront -- which loves this track -- has far less to carry and was not disgraced when third over this course and distance last time, but the vote goes to Harrington's Dundrum, which possesses more scope for improvement than most of his rivals.

The nap vote goes to the Willie Mullins-trained Up Ou That, which has taken a long time to get the hang of things over timber, but could make it fifth time lucky in the three-mile maiden hurdle at the main expense of Divine Rhapsody, which might prove suited to shorter.

Irish Independent

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