Warne goes clear on the run-in from Mandy Carroll in second and Fort George in third
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
The Brian Hamilton trained Warne ran out an impressive winner of the Ballywalter Farms Open Lightweight at Ballinaboola point-to-point this afternoon, while the well backed favourite Royal De La Thinte disappointed.
The Jim Dreaper trained 8yo gelding was sent off the well supported even money favourite (opened at 2/1).
The French bred gelding won a novice chase at Navan in December 2010 and was last seen finishing just four lengths behind the classy Quito De La Roque in the Grade 2 Ten Up Novice Chase again at Navan in February of 2011.
Out of action since that run, he reportedly met with trouble and was given all the time he needed to recover.
With Jamie Flynn in the saddle today, the son of Cachet Noir travelled prominently in the early stages but as they passed the parade ring for the first time he dropped back through the field and need to be jostled along.
Going out on the second circuit he got going again and hit the front soon after with Fort George in second.
Approaching the home straight (parade ring area) for the second time Royal De La Thinte came to a virtual standstill and despite Jamie Flynn's best efforts he couldn't get him going again and he was pulled up.
The Henry De Bromhead trained Fort George, under Paul Power, led the field into the home straight for the final time with the John Walsh trained Mandy Carroll challenging in second under Gerry Murphy while Warne was close behind in third.
Jamie Codd then produced the four time track winner to hit the front before the last and he stayed on strongly to win in good style by seven lengths.
The son of Bob Back was last seen on the track at Listowel in June where he won when the subject of a gamble.
Mandy Carroll ran a fine race to finish second while Fort George was a further eight lengths back in third.
The Raymond Smith Memorial Hunters Chase at Leopardstown on February 9th is next on the agenda for Warne.