Tillahow Makes Winning Chase Debut

Thu 8th Nov 2012, 13:10

Tillahow leads Lord Lir
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Tillahow bounced back to winning ways when tackling fences for the first time in the opening beginners chase at Thurles.

Mouse Morris' charge had slipped up on his return to action over timber at Gowran last month but there was no drama this time as he ran out a game winner.

33/1 shot Lord Lir took up the running with seven to jump in the two-miler and had most of the field struggling turning for home.

<Tillahow tackled him at the second last, however, and soon gained a narrow advantage.

Davy Russell had to work to maintain the lead as the outsider proved a determined foe.

The Gigginstown gelding, sent off 12/1, eventually recorded a half-length victory at the line.

"You can't complain about that - winning first time over fences," said Morris.

"He probably wants a trip. He seems a different horse this season after a summer at grass. He seems to be more forward now.

"It's always awkward when a horse wins first time over fences planning where to go next and we've no plans at the moment."

(Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes)

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.