Monday 19 February 2018

Streets of gold digs deep to take spoils for McManus

Legendary owner JP McManus had his colours carried to victory by Streets Of Gold in the Cork Grand National Handicap Chase at the Mallow track.

Successful at Aintree with Don't Push It in April, it was the turn of the Christy Roche-trained eight-year-old to do the honours.

Alan Crowe had the 11/1 chance just behind the leaders as Operation Houdini set out to make all in the testing conditions that bring out the best in him.

The Last Derby joined the front two at the second-last but a mistake at the final fence ruined his hopes.

Operation Houdini put up stern resistance, but Streets Of Gold always just held the upper hand and won by a length and three-quarters, with The Last Derby two lengths away third.

McManus' racing manager Frank Berry said: "He jumped away well and Alan gave him a great ride. He liked the conditions and the trip.

"It is great to get a prize like that and as for future plans I don't know. He has limited scope for big fences and he is more of a county job."

Mount Helicon (9/10 favourite) had to work hard to lift the Grade Three Dial-A-Bet 1800 721 821 EBF Novice Hurdle.

Hitting the front two out, John Cullen's mount had to fight hard to go on and score by a length and three-quarters from Original Option.

"He'll come back here in December for another three-mile novice hurdle," said trainer Tom Hogan, winning the race for the second year in a row in company with Cullen. "He is a lovely horse and he jumps well. He doesn't want the ground as heavy as that."

Back Of The Pack (12/1), the only mare in the Dial-A-Bet 1800 721 821 EBF Novice Chase, jumped the opposition into submission with a four-and-a-half length call over Beau Michael.

Trainer Colin Kidd said: "Her jumping is unbelievable and I wouldn't be afraid to go anywhere with her now. That's her third win in over three weeks now so she has done plenty and we'll have to sit down and make a plan.

"To train a Graded winner in my second year training is a dream come true."

Her rider, Michael Darcy, was completing a double after earlier guiding 7/1 shot Silas Mariner home in the opening iPhone App Three Year Old Hurdle.

Irish Independent

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