naas 6th Jan
Martio (pink) just held Mount Benbulben with Jenari and Tillahow left behind
Rule The World put up an impressive performance to land a hot renewal of the Slaney Novice Hurdle at Naas without being asked a question.
Davy Russell was content to sit in third place on Mouse Morris's 7-1 shot as the race developed, with long odds-on favourite Champagne Fever hustled along by Minsk up front for most of the way in the Grade Two contest.
Champagne Fever was the first to crack - he was later reported to have a respiratory tract infection - and though Minsk went on, Rule The World was only cantering behind him and he eased to the front approaching the last before coasting in by 16 lengths.
The seven-year-old jumped ahead at the fifth-last, but Ruby Walsh had to pull out the stops as Mount Benbulben threw down a strong challenge up the run-in, and there was only a head in it at the line.
Walsh looked to have everything under control throughout the Annual Membership At Naas Maiden Hurdle on Mullins' Upazo, another odds-on favourite, but he found nothing when tackled by Jarlath Fahey's 6-1 shot Jennies Jewel, who was driven past by Ian McCarthy to win by two lengths.
Most of the field held every chance at the second-last in the Tipper Road Handicap Chase and it was the Philip Rothwell-trained Beneficial Spirit (10-1) who proved strongest, responding to Brian O'Connell's driving to win by three lengths.
The odds-on Our Girl Salley finished second for the fourth time in a row when she was just run out of it by the Noel Kelly-trained Charlie's Vic (15-2) in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase. Claimer Derek Fox rode the winner, who scored by a neck.
» All news for Sun, 6th Jan, 2013
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