Saturday 17 March 2018

Murtagh weaves magic in Miss Lahar success

Johnny Murtagh has a number of live chances
Johnny Murtagh has a number of live chances

Thomas Kelly

FRESH from his Irish Oaks heroics, Johnny Murtagh was at his brilliant best again as he got Miss Lahar home in the Dark Angel EBF Sweet Mimosa Stakes at Naas.

Trained by Mick Channon, the three-year-old just got up on the line to deny Rae Guest's fellow raider Minalisa after an exciting battle.

The latter tried to make all in the hands of Fran Berry, but Murtagh timed his run to perfection on Miss Lahar (15/2) to prevail by a head.

"Mick was happy with her and said she was very honest," said Murtagh. "I rode her mother (Brigadiers Bird) to win and now I've ridden her."

Boston Rocker finished third, while the Aidan O'Brien-trained Snow Queen trailed home a distant last after initially refusing to start.

Earlier, Sign From Heaven proved another winner for in-form apprentice Connor King as the filly made all for a cosy victory in the opening two-year-old maiden.

King bounced the daughter of Raven's Pass out in front on the rail and she had her rivals hard at work with two furlongs to run. The David Wachman-trained 11/8 favourite was asked for an effort over a furlong out and kept on well to secure a comfortable three-and-a-half-length victory from market rival Hurryupharriet.

King went on to complete a double aboard General Bunching, which landed a gamble in the apprentice handicap.

Available at 20/1 in the morning, Tom Cleary's charge opened at 11/1 on course before being backed into 6/1 and his supporters were reward as King guided his mount to a one-length success from Great Ability.

There was another all-the-way winner in the conditions stakes over a mile as O'Brien's hot favourite Fortify landed the spoils in the hands of son Joseph. The 8/11 favourite kept on well in the closing stages to comfortably outpoint runner-up Hot Bed.

James Lambe sprung a big shock with Silk Hall in the Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary last Sunday and the Tyrone trainer was at it again in the six-furlong maiden with outsider She's Not Simple.

The 33/1 shot came fast and late on the outside to get the better of Cottrell after Live Dangerously had set a blistering early tempo.

Tadhg O'Shea kept Lambe's charge going in the closing stages to beat Cottrell by just over a length, with disappointing odds-on favourite Swift Action back in third.

Meanwhile, Aidan Coleman has been banned for 10 days by the Worcester stewards for his ride on Ailunthus in the novice hurdle won by Tony McCoy's mount Rosie Probert.

The Cork jockey was found guilty of failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to obtain the best possible placing on the Richard Woollacott-trained four-year-old.

Ailunthus, a 20/1 chance, was beaten 37 and a half lengths into seventh place behind the winner Rosie Probert.

Jason Maguire will go before the British Horseracing Authority's disciplinary panel this morning as he faces a lengthy whip ban.

Maguire was referred by the Cartmel stewards on Monday after being found guilty of misusing his whip – his fifth such offence in the last six months.

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