Tuesday 23 January 2018

Smullen joins Keane after Stack's 'Queen' shares spoils in Tipp opener

Pat Smullen. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Pat Smullen. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Reigning champion Flat jockey Pat Smullen drew level with challenger Colin Keane after sharing the spoils in the opener at Tipperary yesterday.

Smullen was aboard the Fozzy Stack-trained Court Queen in the five-furlong maiden and he brought the 8/1 shot with a well-timed challenge to join 7/4 favourite Hushing inside the final furlong.

The market leader, trained by Willie McCreery, had been prominent all the way under Billy Lee, but the pair were headed by Court Queen before battling back gamely - the judge couldn't split the two in the photo-finish and a dead-heat was called.

Aidan O'Brien recorded a 19/1 double, which was initiated by the all-the-way success of Zabriskie in the juvenile maiden over an extended seven furlongs.

Wayne Lordan's mount was the 9/1 outsider of three Ballydoyle runners, but knuckled down to hold off stablemate Spanish Point by a head, with odds-on favourite Saracen Knight back in third.

O'Brien's double was completed when evens favourite Longing took the nine-furlong maiden for fillies, Seamie Heffernan's mount edging out Rickrack a shade cosily.

Seasonal Meanwhile, Noel Meade's Cheltenham Festival hero Road To Respect could make his seasonal reappearance in the PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park on Saturday.

Admirable grey Ballycasey won the prize a year and could defend his crown for Willie Mullins, who has also entered Shaneshill. Henry de Bromhead has lined up Galway Plate winner Balko Des Flos which could be joined by stable companion Devils Bride.

Irish Independent

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