Wait Here and Mark Walsh pictured on their way to victory
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Mark Walsh made it three from three at Limerick this afternoon, as he guided the Austin Leahy trained, JP McManus owned, Wait Here to victory in the Annual Membership Rated Novice Hurdle.
Walsh was earlier successful on Chris's Dream and Getoutwhenyoucan, with the latter also trained by Leahy and owned by McManus.
Wait Here, who was successful at Tramore on his last start, was as short as even money in early shows, but proved friendless with punters, opening on-course at 11/4, before going off the 10/3 market leader.
Settled behind the leaders, the four-year-old son of Presenting improving to lead before the second last. He extended his advantage before the last, and was pushed out on the run-in to score by five and a half lengths.
Stole The Show ran on to take second at 25/1 under Kevin Sexton for Paul Nolan, while Cluan Dara (12s to 10s) was another length and three parts back in third for Danny Mullins and John Ryan.
Bluegrass Princess, who was sent off the 7/2 second favourite, unseated at the fourth last.
Leahy said afterwards: "It was probably a weak race and he's a nice horse. I was hopeful coming here as both horses were in good order. This horse will come back here again over Christmas.
"JP (McManus) is great to us and is good to a lot of people, if he ever pulled out, there'd be fellas running for cover!"
The Turf Club Veterinary Officer examined Lockeen Girl, trained by Thomas Mullins, at the request of the Stewards and reported the animal to be post race normal.
D.J. Mullins, rider of Lockeen Girl, trained by Thomas Mullins, reported to the Stewards' Secretaries that his mount tired in the straight and was pulled up thereafter.
Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes