Saturday 20 January 2018

Ruby strikes for Cork double

RUBY Walsh maintained his early lead at the top of the jump jockeys' table with a double at Cork last night.

The former champion quickly got into his stride with the victory of even-money favourite Dare To Doubt in the opening conditions hurdle over two and a half miles.

Walsh was content to sit in second on Dare To Doubt as Whodoyouthink set out to make all, but the market leader loomed large approaching the third last flight.

At that hurdle, Alpine Eagle took a crashing fall when racing third and this enabled Dare To Doubt to ease nine lengths clear of the tiring Whodoyouthink.

Walsh recorded winner number two aboard Tom Cooper's Our Girl Lucy with a fine ride from the front in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle.

The six-year-old was challenged by Lucky Pigeon and Get In There up the straight, but the 3/1 favourite kept finding more for Walsh and stuck her neck out well to win by a length and a half from the former.

The win completed an across-the-card double for Cooper as, earlier, his Queen Of The Hill (9/4 favourite) had claimed the Downpatrick bumper in the hands of Mikey O'Connor.

At the northern venue, Cork jockey Martin Ferris took the riding honours as he recorded a double, initiated by the success of Pink Goddess (7/1) which made all to land the First Past The Post Handicap Hurdle.

Trained by Dundalk-based Geoffrey Cuthbert, who was enjoying his first winner, the daughter of Exit To Nowhere battled well from the last to see off The Gnathologist by three and a quarter lengths.

The Ferris brace was completed on the David Finn-trained Aviatore (7/1) in the Joe Rea Memorial Handicap Hurdle. Ferris held the son of Tiger Hill up in the early stages before making steady headway to lead after the final flight, staying on well for a five-and-a-half-lengths win over Baby's Hot.

Davy Russell was on the mark in the opening maiden hurdle as he guided the well-backed Zerashan (9/4) to a comfortable victory.

The son of Azamour, trained by Dessie Hughes and carrying the colours of Gigginstown House Stud, stayed on well from the last to pull three lengths clear of Gold Ability.

Irish Independent

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