A review of the pick of the action from Limerick
Caoimhe's Delight gave trainer Sean O'Brien his first Graded-race success with victory in dramatic fashion at Limerick.
Last Updated: 16/03/14 6:07pm
There was all to play for at the final fence where the consistent eight-year-old was just behind the leader Baby Shine. Lucy Wadham's Newmarket raider suffered a crashing fall, however, but thankfully both horse and rider Leighton Aspell swiftly rose to their feet.
Baby Shine's demise left Caoimhe's Delight (5/1) to lift the Grade Two prize by a length and three-quarters from Civena in the hands of Davy Condon. It was a welcome change of fortune for Caoimhe's Delight as she had been placed on her last five completed starts.
"She got beat the last day and it was my fault. I told Paul (Townend) to force the pace, but it killed her on that tacky and bottomless ground," said County Cork-based O'Brien.
"I wasn't going to run her until four or five days ago, but she started to show me a little bit at home.
"This is my first Graded win and over a trip on nicer ground she might have a chance in a big handicap. She'll be grand when she goes to stud eventually, with that win under her belt."
Katie T (13/2) got the better of the odds-on Urticaire to take Grade Three honours in the Kerry Group EBF Mares Novice Hurdle. Adrian Heskin produced the Kevin Prendergast-trained five-year-old to collar Willie Mullins' charge close home and score by half a length.
"She's a good filly. Although the race wasn't run to suit her. She caught them for speed on the run-in," said Heskin. "Good ground will bring out the best in her."
Kitten Rock had little difficulty landing the odds in the Greenmount Park Event Centre Hurdle. Paddy Mangan set out to make it a proper test by going straight to the front on Edward O'Grady's four-year-old, who had made a winning jumps debut at Navan two weeks earlier.
The 1/5 shot shrugged off the opposition as he maintained his unbeaten run with a seven-length call over Irish Bulletin.
Jody McGarvey brought the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Once And Always (11/2) with a well-timed run to land the www.limerickraces.ie Handicap Hurdle by five lengths from Some Officer.
Winning trainer Charles Byrnes said: "He ran OK at Fairyhouse the last day and Bryan Cooper liked him. He wasn't beaten that far and was on a nice mark and claiming 5lb was a big thing today."
Even-money favourite Domination gave Byrnes a double when making a winning debut over fences in the Charleville Cheese Beginners Chase. A smart performer on the Flat and over hurdles, the seven-year-old was given a confident ride by Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Davy Russell as he accounted for the staying-on Drawn N Drank by two lengths.
"We schooled him over fences at Leopardstown after racing before Cheltenham and while he jumped a little slow early on then, he was very good over the last four or five fences and jumped well today," said Byrnes.
"He is much better on good to firm so I was concerned about the ground and while he is rated 95 on the Flat, today's win opens more doors for him. I don't know what is coming up but he is a 'summer novice' now and could go for a winners' of one next."
Sean Flanagan brought Sherika (8/1) home a half-length winner of the Adare Heritage Handicap Chase for trainer David Kelly and Milsean (4/7 favourite) was an easy winner in the Gigginstown colours for champion trainer Mullins and his amateur rider son Patrick in the Kevin Frost Memorial (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.