Clashnabrook Completes Great Day For Punters

Sat 24th Nov 2012, 16:19

Clashnabrook jumps the last ahead of Rakamasi
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
The Eoghan O’Grady trained Clashnabrook completed a fabulous day for favourite backers at Gowran as the well backed son of Alderbrook took the last on the card, the Irish Racing Yearbook Handicap Chase, in convincing fashion.

Having opened at 7/2 with Paddy Powers this morning he opened on track at just 5/2 and was heavily backed into 7/4 favourite at the off.

Ridden by Phillip Enright, the 7yo gelding carried just 9-10 (rated 84 over fences compared to his mark of 110 over hurdles) and raced in mid-division for much of the contest.

He made headway approaching the straight to go fourth and he disputed the lead before the second last.

He soon hit the front and was driven out and kept on well on the run-in to score by four and a half lengths at the line from top weight Character Actor in second at 12/1 under Martin Ferris.

The veteran Rakamasi ran well to finish a further length and a quarter back in third under Adrian Heskin for Michael McElhone at 10/1.

Eoghan O'Grady said afterwards: "He is a fine big horse and he jumped well. He loves that ground and he will go for something similar around Christmas time. Phillip gave him a good positive ride.

"I have ten in at the moment and I had a double at Affane point-to-point last weekend."

(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.

THE IRISH TIMES