Mcnamara Records First Double After Val Cruise

Tue 21st Mar 2017, 16:33

Val De Ferbet & Robbie Power
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Andrew McNamara completed a double on the card at Clonmel today when Val De Ferbet produced a fine front-running performance to claim the featured Suir Valley Chase.

Robbie Power's mount was untidy at the first fence in the 2m3f contest but jumped really well afterwards at the head of affairs.

He had his rivals on the stretch turning for home and didn't need to engage top gear in the closing stages as he went on for an easy 13 length success.

The 2/1 winner had been well held over timber at Punchestown last month on his most recent outing.

The Paparrazi Kid, sent off the 9/10 favourite, was struggling from a long way out and pulled up before the last when a moderate third.

McNamara was recording his first double as a trainer and he said:- “The original plan was to go to Thurles for a hurdle race at the weekend but I entered for this also. He isn't an exceptional jumper but I thought this was worth a go and we may now have a look at the Thurles race also.

"His jumping was as good as I've ever had him put in and I'd be lost without Dillon (Maxwell, who rode the trainer's earlier winner) who helps with his schooling - hopefully someone doesn't rob him off me now!

"We're not that busy at the moment - I've 10 horse to run for the summer and I was nervous coming here today because if things didn't want well, we'd have been struggling for the summer! It worked out great though and I'm delighted."

Power said:- “His jumping over fences hasn't always been great and he hit the first fence today a fair belt but maybe he learnt from it as he was very good after that.

“He's got a very high cruising speed and thankfully today he got his jumping together and he jumped super after the first fence.

“If he could find another little conditions race for him like that it would be ideal.

“I rode Andrew's first winner in Punchestown last May and I've been part of his first double today. His horses look a credit to him and he does a fantastic job. They are fit and look great as well.”

(Quotes by Thomas Weekes)

Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview

As the Cheltenham Festival grows brighter on the horse racing horizon, one race will be at the forefront of most fans' thoughts — the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is the most prestigious race in the jumps racing calendar and has been won by many of the greats of the game, both human and equine. Each year, the race provides intrigue, drama and excellence matched by no other contest and the 2018 renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup promises to be no different.

THE IRISH TIMES