thurles 23rd Dec

Sun 23rd Dec 2012, 16:10
Unika La Reconce left her Thurles opponents for dead
Unika La Reconce left her Thurles opponents for dead

Midnight Game confirmed himself a horse on the upgrade with a comfortable victory at Thurles.

Having won at Fairyhouse on his seasonal return, Willie Mullins' five-year-old stepped up to Listed level for the Horse And Jockey Hotel Hurdle and was given a confident ride by Davy Russell.

The champion jockey had the 4-7 favourite settled on the shoulder of Arnaud from the outset before sending him to the lead two out.

Joxer improved from the back of the five-runner field to give chase, butp>Midnight Game held him a length at bay after taking the last smoothly.

Mullins was also on the mark with French import Unika La Reconce in the Gift Horse Gallery Horse & Jockey Hotel Mares Maiden Hurdle.

Ruby Walsh set out to make it a true test on the 8-11 market leader and when Speckled Hen mounted her challenge between the final two flights, the filly responded in good style, pulling 12 lengths clear.

Captain Canada (6-1) bossed the INH Stallion EBF Maiden Hurdle with a fine front-running display.

The dual point winner was a disappointment on his bumper debut at Limerick but consigned that run to the past with a nine and a half-length defeat of market rival War Correspondent.

Jimmy Mangan's mare Noras Fancy (7-2 joint-favourite) was prominent all the way in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase and held a narrow advantage at the final fence before being driven clear by David Splaine to beat Colls Corner by three lengths.

Colin Bowe's Whiskey And Red (6-4 favourite), a winner at the track last month, followed up in the Molony Cup Handicap Chase, collaring Robertstown Rover at the last under Russell and forging a length and three-quarters clear.

The Exit 6 To The Horse & Jockey Novice Handicap Hurdle went to Denis Hogan's Missie Ella (25-1) under the trainer's son Denis jnr, while Barry O'Neill guided Robert Tyner's Byerley Babe (2-1) home in front in the Curaheen INH Flat Race.

Missie scores with guidance from above

As far back as her days with Michael Halford on the level it looked like Missie Ella had the size and presence to make an impression at the jumping game and she sprung a 25/1 surprise in the Exit 6 To The Horse & Jockey Novice Handicap Hurdle at Thurles under her trainer and rider Denis Hogan.