Thursday 22 February 2018

Urano gets back on track for Mullins as bookies are caned

Jockey Ben Dalton
Jockey Ben Dalton

Thomas Kelly

Urano bounced back to winning ways in the feature Listed MW Hickey Memorial Chase at Wexford.

On a wet and windy Bank Holiday meeting that bookmakers will probably want to forget, Willie Mullins' charge left a lacklustre effort in the Munster National well behind.

A short-head second at Listowel two starts ago, the seven-year-old was patiently ridden by Danny Mullins before displaying his battling qualities to fend off the challenge of Gold Patrol for a one-and-a-half-length triumph.

"The jump at the last won it for me. He has plenty of good form without getting his head in front that much but it is nice to see him doing that and hopefully he can move on again from here," said Mullins of the 5/4 favourite.

Dallas Cowboy looked a smart prospect for Gordon Elliott in the Garryrichard Stud Maiden Hurdle.

Completing a quick across-the-cards double for Elliott, the 6/4 favourite was given a confident ride by Luke Dempsey and never looked like getting reeled in as he stayed on strongly for an eight-length romp.

"There wasn't a whole lot of pace and I knew he'd stay so we just went on," said Dempsey.

After Rain (7/4 favourite) justified his short price in the Wexford Rated Novice Hurdle.

The Shay Barry-trained, Mark Walsh-ridden gelding ran out a comfortable three-and-a-quarter-length winner at the expense of Runyon Rattler.

Barry said: "I was delighted with the way he relaxed and he jumped a lot better."

Santo Prince (5/1 favourite) piled more misery on to the bookmakers when showing a good turn of foot to win the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.

Buoyed by his success on the Flat at Gowran Park last week, Robbie Hennessy's inmate continued in a rich vein of form and was kept up to his work close home to beat Tb Broke Her by a length.

Jockey Ben Dalton said: "He jumped great the whole way. I ended up getting there way too early but he jumped and travelled and got himself there. He done it well and he is very genuine."

Bookmakers would have been forgiven for shutting up shop shortly after the Jim Whitty Memorial Beginners Chase as another favourite obliged, this time courtesy of Vicangelome.

The 11/8 hotpot might have won on his chase debut at Sligo but for a bad mistake at the last, but he gained compensation for trainer Robert Tyner and jockey Philip Enright.

"He did it nicely. We think he was a bit unlucky the last day, the other came at him and he just made a mistake at the last," said Tyner.

Action got underway at 1.05 in the Peter Nolan Bloodstock Maiden Hurdle and Last Goodbye (5/2) created a sound impression for Liz Doyle.

Building on a smooth Roscommon success in a bumper last month, the mount of Sean Flanagan put five and a half lengths between himself and Crazyheart at the line.

Doyle said: "I like him. I took a punt running him again and not sending him to the sales. Hopefully someone might buy him now."

The Wexford Festival Opera 2015 (C & G) (Pro/Am) Flat Race went the way of Tuzo (15/8 second favourite) for Paul Nolan and 3lb claimer Barry O'Neill.

Irish Independent

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