Forjoethepainter Lands A Gamble

Thu 27th Dec 2012, 14:00

By Donal Murphy
Forjoethepainter landed a gamble as he provided his trainer Tony Mulholland with his second winner in Ireland when taking the Goggin Buckley Engineering Handicap Hurdle.

Ridden by Rob Jones (second winner of the Limerick Christmas Festival after Ponmeword yesterday), the winner opened at 20/1 this morning with Paddy Powers but opened on track at just 10/1 and was backed into 7/1 at the off.

The 7yo son of Rudimentary was making his eleventh start this afternoon and he had shown very little before today.

He raced in mid-division for much of the contest and had plenty to do when making progress from the third last flight.

He managed to get to the front before the second last and he was soon in command as he went on to score by three and a quarter lengths.

I'lltelimar King finished second at 11/1 under Sean McDermott for Patrick Neville while Quigleys Express was a further neck back in third under Brian Cawley for Paul Gilligan at 14/1.

Sherika was sent off the 7/4 favourite for Grainne O’Connor and Mark Enright but she ran no sort of race and finished last of the nine runners.

Tony Mulholland, who trains in who trains in Cootehill, Co Cavan, said afterwards: "That's not a surprise. It takes him a few races to get fit and he loves the heavy ground.

"He won a schooling race at Fairyhouse recently. Rob gave him a good positive ride.

"He will be kept over hurdles now but will go over fences then in a few months’ time. I have 12 to 14 horses in training 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.