Monday 20 November 2017

Magic Of Light dazzles at Punchestown for Jessica Harrington

Jockey Ryan Treacy celebrates after winning the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle on Magic of Light at Punchestown Racecourse in Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Jockey Ryan Treacy celebrates after winning the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle on Magic of Light at Punchestown Racecourse in Naas, Co. Kildare. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Magic Of Light got up in the shadow of the post to land the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown.

Jessica Harrington's mare was an 11-1 chance for the fiercely competitive contest that opened the second day of the Festival and was always in a nice position against the rail in the hands of Ryan Treacy.

Blast Of Koeman looked home and hosed after the final flight, but Magic Of Light came home strongly and won the day by a head.

A Rated was a close-up third, with well-supported 5-1 favourite Fridaynightlights fourth.

Treacy said: "Everyone wanted to be handy, but I knew I was in the right place all the way.

"I got a lovely run on the inside and I'm very privileged to be given this opportunity."

Harrington said: "All my children thought I was mad running her as they all said she wanted soft ground

"I didn't think she'd get in, but once she did we said we'd run her and it's great for Ryan.

"He comes down and rides out for me one day a week, so I'm delighted for him to have a Punchestown winner."

C'est Jersey dominated from the front when he led home a one-two for Willie Mullins in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle.

Battleford was the 6-4 favourite in the hands of Ruby Walsh, but, not for the first time, his jumping was far from foot-perfect.

C'est Jersey, on the other hand, hurdled fluently in the first-time blinkers and some strong galloping at the head of affairs put the pressure on his opponents.

Battleford got rolling in the straight, but C'est Jersey was away and gone and passed the post three and a half lengths to the good under Paul Townend.

Burgas was best of the rest in third.

"He was a bit keen early on, but we always thought he'd stay well," said the winning rider.

Mullins said: "This time last year Ruby was riding him (C'est Jersey) at home and thought he was a very decent horse.

"He's disappointed us all year and the other morning David Casey rode him and he flew in a gallop, and we decided to put blinkers on him as he's well able to do it but wasn't doing it on the racetrack - it made a huge difference to him.

"Battleford didn't hurdle fast enough at the pace they were going.

"They are two nice staying chasers for next season."

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