Across Card Double For De Bromhead

Sun 9th Dec 2012, 13:10

Starkie winning at Cork
©Healy Racing Photos
By Michael Graham
Starkie fended off Strategic Bid at the end of the two mile maiden hurdle at Cork to give Henry de Bromhead and Bryan Cooper a winner at 11/2.

The five-year-old gelding had run third on his seasonal comeback at Punchestown over two and a half miles a month ago, and stepped up on that form today.

Cooper sent him into the lead from flagfall and at the second last it looked like Strategic Bid (12/1) and John Cullen were going to get on terms. However, the pursuer clouted that flight which halted his momentum.

A good jump at the last secured victory forStarkie as Strategic Bid closed to within half a length at the finish without looking like getting there.

Winning jockey Bryan Cooper commented: “The last two jumps won it for him. He’s a real chaser in the making.”

Third-placed money went to 25/1 outsider Overbury Prince. The uneasy 13/8 favourite Shamar, who drifted out from 11/10, came in fourth beaten seven lengths in total.

This gave successful trainer Henry de Bromhead a quick-fire across the card double after Too Scoops won the Listed novice hurdle at Punchestown at 6/1.

(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.