Missie Scores With Guidance From Above

Sun 23rd Dec 2012, 15:31

Missie Ella jumps the last well to see off Thats The Dream (no.8) and Brian Who
©Healy Racing Photos
As far back as her days with Michael Halford on the level it looked like Missie Ella had the size and presence to make an impression at the jumping game and she sprung a 25/1 surprise in the Exit 6 To The Horse & Jockey Novice Handicap Hurdle at Thurles under her trainer and rider Denis Hogan.

Up in trip to two and three quarter miles, the Barathea four-year-old made most, overcame the hindrance of jumping to her left and she found plenty for pressure from the third last to beat Brian Who by three and a half lengths.

Hogan had quite a tale to relate in the aftermath, saying: "She's owned by two brothers, Michael and Tony O'Brien from Nenagh. Tony's wife Trish died yesterday.

"I'd declared the mare to run on Friday, obviously with the intention of running, but I thought she'd be a non-runner until Mike phoned and said to run her saying that's what Trish would have wanted.

"She's in at Limerick but she probably won't run. She had a hard enough race. She's a chaser in the making." (TW & EM)

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.