Saturday 20 January 2018

Punters' pal Ruby enjoys double delight as bookmakers suffer

Ruby Walsh. Photo: Getty Images
Ruby Walsh. Photo: Getty Images

Thomas Kelly

RUBY Walsh was back to his brilliant best at Ballinrobe yesterday as he teamed up with Tony Martin to land a double on a good day for punters.

The first four market leaders -- as well as two joint-favourites -- on the card all obliged and Walsh partnered the second of them when guiding Dream Champion to victory in the John Munroe Haulage Handicap Hurdle.

The champion jockey -- whose first winner since his comeback from injury came at Killarney earlier this week -- produced the 2/1 favourite to lead on the home turn and he stayed on well to score by a length-and-three-quarters from Hunting Tower.

The Walsh-Martin alliance completed their brace when Keelaghan proved too strong for fellow 7/2 joint-favourite Fosters Cross in the conditions chase.

Fosters Cross looked to be travelling best as he hit the front before the second last, but had no answer when headed by Keelaghan at the last.

Paul Gilligan's 5/2 shot One Cool Tornado got favourite-backers off to the perfect start by landing the opening maiden hurdle, while Niall Madden's Clancy Strand and the Jessica Harrington-trained Gimli's Rock were other market leaders to oblige.

At Cork, Await The Dawn made an impressive return to action in the Fermoy Race.

Aidan O'Brien's colt had been off the track since finishing last of seven in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last September but was still sent off the 8/15 favourite.

Always in control, Await The Dawn pulled clear in the straight to pass the post a length and a quarter ahead of Zerashan.

Declan's Warrior repelled the late flurry of Maundays Bay to come out on top in the juvenile maiden for Pat Smullen and Dermot Weld.

The jockey and trainer completed a double in the EBF Median Auction Maiden with Honey Of A Kitten (100/30).

Celerina (5/1) took the Scarteen Handicap for Wayne Lordan and Tommy Stack, while The Grey Rebel (6/1) confirmed the promise of three previous placed efforts with a two-length triumph in the six-furlong maiden.

Blackwitch Woman clung on to take the Mount Hillary Handicap, while West Cork native Niall O'Callaghan, formerly based in America and winner of $27m in prize-money, registered his first winner here when Takeover Bid landed the Newmarket Handicap.

Irish Independent

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