Monday 18 December 2017

Miss Eyecatcher stays strong for Galway glory

Miss Eyecatcher puts her best foot forward at Galway
Miss Eyecatcher puts her best foot forward at Galway

Miss Eyecatcher ran out a tremendously game winner of the Tote Irish EBF Mares Handicap Hurdle at Galway.

A smart bumper performer, Roger McGrath's charge hadn't really got her act together since going jumping, admittedly in better company.

David Mullins rode a positive race on her and she was to the fore from the start and while t here were plenty of challengers queuing up behind her swinging for home, the 14-1 shot really stuck her neck out and crossed the line a length and a quarter to the good over Rosie Alice.

"She's a fine mare and she won three bumpers and already has black type over hurdles," said McGrath.

"She ran with credit against some good ones in the winter and she's improved again after a little break.

"She'll go chasing soon enough and though this was a competitive race, she'd earned her chance.

"They've been very lucky owners (the Connery Family Syndicate) and hopefully they've got a lot to look forward to."

Davids Charm came off the reserves' bench to run away with TheTote.com Handicap Hurdle.

Up 16lb for his Listowel win in June, the John Joe Walsh-trained 14-1 chance still has plenty to learn because he ran around a bit after taking up the running on the home turn, but he is some way ahead of the assessor and beat Clara Sorrento by seven and a half lengths under Ambrose McCurtin.

"He's in here again on Sunday - over three miles - we'll see how he is," said Walsh.

"Ambrose gave him a really good ride."

McCurtin, registering his first winner at the Festival, said: "It was his first run in a handicap the last day and even today he showed his inexperience.

"He had a good look at the crowds. He's a good stayer. He doesn't do a lot in the early part of a race but the further he goes the better he is. The hood helped to keep him relaxed with all the atmosphere at Galway."

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