Ballinahow Lady jumps the last from Ros Brin and Flamingos Gold
It wouldn't be the first time that a mares' race threw up a result different from what was anticipated beforehand and it was the 10/1 chance Ballinahow Lady that prevailed under Johnny Cullen in the Miceal Fitzgibon Memorial European Breeders Fund Mares Novice Chase at Thurles.
The fact that she was followed home by an 8/1 chance and two fifty to one shots (both available at 100/1 this morning) emphasises that betting in such heats can be tricky.
Of the market leaders, Madam Bovary fell in the back straight (five out) whilst Avondhu Lady and Banjaxed Girl failed by some way to show their best, finishing last and second last.
Ballinahow Lady led three out and she 'toughed it out' best from the last to see off Ros Brin by half a length.
The other prize-money was picked up by the fifty to one hopes, Flamingos Gold (six lengths back in third, had every chance in the straight) and Bee Fallon (seventeen lengths behind in fourth).
David O'Brien trains the victorious previous course winner for the local grouping, the M C Syndicate, and he said: "We gave her a bit of a break after Christmas and it seemed to freshen her up well.
"She needed every yard of the three miles and she's very ground dependent – the softer the better.
"When she gets into a nice rhythm she jumps well. I'm not sure where we'll go now, we'll have to have a look and see what's coming up." (AM & EM)