Boats Cruises Home In Opener

Fri 4th Jan 2013, 18:12

Burn The Boats and Emmet McNamara
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Burn The Boats proved a cut above his rivals as he sauntered to an easy success in the opening claiming maiden at Dundalk this evening.

Ger Lyons' charge was making a return from a 562-day absence having made just one start as a two-year-old.

He had been well fancied for his debut but was reported to have lost his action during the race and had been absent since.

There was support for him before racing as he was backed from 9/4 into as short as 5/4. He opened 6/4 on track and after an initial drift was returned 5/4 favourite.

Emmet McNamara had few worries on the Big Bad Bob gelding as he cruised up to challenge two furlongs from home.

He quickened away when given an inch of rein a furlong out and skipped clear in the closing stages for a five-length success over market rival Diamond Daze (11/8).

“He's had his issues and because of the injury he had the owner didn't want to persevere,” said Lyons.

“We brought him back with a view to winning a little race here. He's done it well but it was a poor race.

“In my opinion there are not enough claimers here and if someone claims him they are welcome to him.

"If he hadn't run here there isn't a suitable maiden here for him until February."

There were four claims of €20,000 for the winner with one of Lyons' principal owners Sean Jones successful.

Sterling Cooper, a 10/1 shot (25/1 in morning), was withdrawn after running loose and there was a 5 cent deduction to board prices.

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)

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.