Tidal Bay wins a thrilling renewal of the Lexus(Healy Racing Photos)
Tidal Bay won a thrilling renewal of the Lexus Chase for Paul Nicholls and Graham Wylie.
The was race billed as a rematch between John Durkan one-two Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs, and they certainly played their part, but Ruby Walsh stole the show on the 11-year-old Tiday Bay (9-2).
Flemenstar tanked through the race and hit the front as China Rock weakened coming to the last, but the favourite couldn't repel First Lieutenant, who looked to have done enough to prevail before Walsh forged between them in the dying strides to score by a head.
Flemenstar held the fast-finishing Sir Des Champs for third in a tightly-bunched finish.
Back In Focus (6-4 favourite) led home a one-two for Willie Mullins in the Topaz Novice Chase.
Stablemate Aupcharlie travelled best of all for Andrew Lynch and hit the front coming to the final fence, but he made a mistake and pecked on landing.
Walsh seized the opportunity, throwing everything at Back In Focus on the run up to the line, and he got there by a head.
Walsh also left it late on the Mullins-trained Supreme Carolina in the Star Best For Racing Christmas Rated Hurdle, edging out Persian Gayel by half a length.
Well-backed 11-4 shot Monksland reversed Hatton's Grace form with Zaidpour in the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle.
The pair filled the first two places at Fairyhouse and it was more of the same here, but Noel Meade's charge finished strongest under Paul Carberry and he won by two and a half lengths.
Talbot Road (7-1) outstayed Thunder And Roses to claim an eventful Madigans Maiden Hurdle under Barry Cash.
Market leaders Foxrock and Mala Beach both unseated their riders and it was Arthur Moore's four-year-old who took advantage, grinding out a two-length triumph after hitting the front at the last.
The Mongey Communications Novice Handicap saw John Qeally's Flying Light (10-1) resist the renewed challenge of Grange and score by a neck in the hands of Andrew McNamara.