Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 25 March 2018

Murphy delight after quito proves worth to deny thief

Quito De La Roque stayed on best in the testing conditions to land the Surehaul Mercedes Novice Hurdle at Clonmel.

Colm Murphy's 7/4 favourite was sent straight to the head of affairs by Davy Russell and disputed the lead throughout with Quadrillon.

The front two began to quicken up going down the back straight for a second time but The Book Thief went with them -- with all three rivals in with a chance turning for home.

The Book Thief emerged the main danger to the winner jumping the final flight, but Quito De La Roque found more and passed the post four lengths to the good.

Murphy said: "I'll try and find something similar. I would say you won't get ground soft enough or a race long enough for him.

"He's a big baby and showed it today. If he improves as much as I think he can, he could be a real nice horse. I'm delighted with him. He's a big, raw baby and chasing is his game. He's a half-brother to Kazal and the further he got, the better."

Thyestes Chase winner Whinstone Boy further enhanced his Grand National claims with a game display in the Kilcash Chase.

The nine-year-old travelled well throughout under Sean Flanagan and held a narrow lead turning for home.

The challengers were queuing up jumping the final two fences, but Jimmy Mangan's charge kept on galloping and came home two and a half lengths clear of Leanne.

Willie Mullins' Glencove Marina was sent off favourite but took a heavy fall at the final fence when beaten.

Whinstone Boy was cut by Blue Square into 33/1 (from 40s) for Aintree glory, while Paddy Power remain unchanged at the same price.

Irish Independent

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