Vinnie Supreme in Punchestown opener

Wed 16th May 2018, 18:18

photoSupreme Vinnie jumps the last under Rachael Blackmore
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
The Denise O'Shea trained Supreme Vinnie sprang a 20/1 surprise in the feature at Punchestown this evening, the Panoramic Restaurant Handicap Chase.

Placed in a Grade B contest at Killarney in August, the son of Vinnie Roe was last of twelve on his most recent start at Dundalk in January.

Carrying just nine stone ten today, the nine-year-old gelding was settled towards rear by Rachael Blackmore (recording her third win from her last four rides).

He took closer order from four out, and came with his challenge approaching the second last. He soon hit the front, and despite veering right before the last, kept on well on the run-in, going to score by six lengths for the Moon & Stars Syndicate.

Woodland Opera (9/2) finished second under Robbie Power for Jessica Harrington, while Montalbano (10s to 7s) on-course fared best of the Willie Mullins trained runners, another three and a half lengths back in third.

Asthuria was sent off the 11/8 favourite, and she was being pressed for the lead two out when making a slight mistake. She faded from there, and eventually finished seventh.

"It's a pleasure to be associated with him. This is my fifth year with him and year on year he's came out and won," said O'Shea.

"He's my star and he's more than a horse at this stage, he's part of the family at home. He got me going.

"He's had his problems but he's just so tough and versatile. He's won a bumper, on the Flat, over hurdle and fences. I'm sure if I had brought him point-to-pointing he would have ticked that off as well.

"Long-term this year were were hoping to get into the Galway Plate off bottom weight. I know he'd have to go up a nice few pounds.

"We said we'd come here to see if he could compete with the top ones and he did, he did it very easily.

"Please God he stays sound as there is a long summer there and we're really looking forward to him.

"Rachael has won five on him and she's brilliant with him. We're very lucky to have her and that horse loves her because he can be quirky when he wants to be. They are a good old match.

"I thought if we finished in the first four we'd be doing well and all credit to him."

STEWARDS REPORT

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board Veterinary Officer examinedp>Asthuria (FR), trained by W.P. Mullins, at the request of the Stewards and reported the animal to be post race normal.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson

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THE IRISH TIMES