Review Dundalk 22nd Feb

Fri 22nd Feb 2013, 21:50

Cash Or Casualty and Rory Cleary
©Healy Racing Photos

Rory Cleary was in treble form at Dundalk on the night former champion jockey Johnny Murtagh resumed raceriding following his recovery from injury.

Murtagh drew a blank from two rides on his return from a broken collarbone suffered on a post-Christmas skiing holiday in Austria.

Instead it was Cleary who was the star of the show and he opened up when Cash Or Casualty, a narrow winner at the track at the beginning of the month, followed up under a 4lb rise in the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap.

The jockey was smartly away on Damian English's five-year-old (5-1 favourite), who led all the way and had enough in reserve to resist Collingwood by a length.

Cleary then took the Ladbrokes Odds On Maiden on James Barrett's lightly raced four-year-old Saga Eiger (3-1 favourite), who led early in the straight and ran on strongly to hold To Choose by three-quarters of a length.

He completed his treble on his father Tom's General Bunching, who has been out of form but defied odds of 16-1 to collar Massabini and win the Ladbrokes Accumulator Bonus Handicap by three and three-quarter lengths.

Pat Smullen recorded a double, opening his account on Tracey Collins' Indian Landing (7-1), who found a nice turn of foot to win the handicap by two and a half lengths from unlucky favourite Black N Brew, who missed the break.

The jockey doubled up on Calissa (6-1), who showed snippets of form for Jessie Harrington and put her best foot forward to win the Ladbrokes Casino Fillies Maiden by a length on her first start for Peter Fahey.

Toberton held a clear advantage coming down the straight in the Ladbrokes Bingo Handicap but was run down late on by the Jim Gorman-trained Relay (7-1) under Chris Hayes, who won by a neck.

Joseph O'Brien rounded off the night by winning the Ladbrokes Daily Top Treble Handicap by two and a half lengths on his father Aidan's El Salvador (11-10 favourite).

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.