Tuesday 24 October 2017

Walsh out of luck as Toole enjoys his golden moment

Tom Peacock

RUBY WALSH is still awaiting his first winner after his return from injury following four losing rides at Newbury yesterday where the good fortune followed young jockey Peter Toole.

Toole had taken a nasty-looking fall in the opening race but he dusted himself off to win the feature, the Wiltshire County Show Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup.

The 3lb claimer was desperate to be aboard the Charlie Mann-trained Fine Parchment (12/1), an old-fashioned-looking type which still had enough speed to prevail over Tail of The Bank, Swing Bill and Big Fella Thanks in a driving finish.

"I was a little winded after the fall but I didn't want to be sitting in the doctors' room watching someone else ride him," said a relieved Toole.

Mann said: "We wanted to run in the Byrne Group Plate but he was about 63rd on the list so we came here instead. I really want to see him over the National fences so he'll go for the Topham at Aintree next."

Graham Lee was thrilled with the fourth-placed finish of another Grand National prospect Big Fella Thanks.

Walsh partnered Niche Market for his boss Paul Nicholls but the top weight finished down the field.

Grand National clues were also the order of the day at Kelso as Skippers Brig floored Ballabriggs in the totesport.com Premier Chase. Sent off at 8/13, Ballabriggs jumped superbly for Jason Maguire, apart from standing off the second-last, and Donald McCain's gelding looked to have done everything right when pinging the final fence. Nicky Richards' Skippers Brig (3/1) is a classy animal over this sort of trip on testing ground, however, and he showed superior speed on the run to the line.

At home, the featured Shamrock Handicap Chase at Gowran went to The Sneezer which made it three on the bounce under Tom Doyle.

The Sneezer had a major danger eliminated when Dr Whizz fell at the third-last. From there the successful Topanoora gelding, bred, owned and trained by the Nagles in Killavullen, Co Cork, stayed on to account for Just Friends and Sizing America.

Tom Nagle said: "He's always been a good jumper of fences. He'll get a little holiday now as he's had a tough few weeks."

There was a double on the card for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend who scored with Bagber (4/1) in the opening maiden hurdle and followed up later with Uncle Junior (9/4) in the Thomastown Beginners' Chase.

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