Dogora leads Dalasiri
By Gary Carson
Dogora was made to pull out all the stops to justify his short price in the opening juvenile hurdle at Gowran Park.
Willie Mullins charge was sent off 2/5 favourite for the two-mile event but just held on at the line for a head success.
Ruby Walsh's mount had been keen early and soon pressed leader Dalasiri. The front-runner looked to have the hotpot in the trouble before the bend as Walsh started to push his mount. <Dogora stayed on to lead at the second last and soon went a length clear. The pair crossed each other before the final flight and again came close on touching down at the last.
Walsh had to get serious as Dalasiri tried hard to claw back his rival on the run-in and the line came just in time for the Rich Ricci-owned French-bred.
The winner had recorded a cosy victory on his Irish debut at Limerick over Christmas.
“It was hard work and both horses seemed to idle,” said Mullins afterwards.
“Dalasiri seemed to idle first and then our lad. When they both drifted apart they seemed to idle.
“Our fella is really a chaser. They are two nice horses. I'd prefer to keep him for Fairyhouse but he'll get an entry for the Fred Winter.
“Today is the first time he's jumped (traditional) Irish hurdles.”
(Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes)