Sweeney Calls Tune As Mikael Blunders

Sun 24th Feb 2013, 14:48

Sweeney Tunes and Davy Russell cosy winners
©Healy Racing Photos
By Gary Carson
Sweeney Tunes ran out a cosy winner of the Woodlands Park Novice Chase at Naas but the race complexion changed completely three from home in the Grade 2 contest.

Mikael D'Haguenet was sent off 4/7 favourite for the two-and-a-half mile contest and things looked to be going to plan as he took closer order before the fifth last.

He lost all chance three out, however as he blundered and sprawled badly on landing.

Sweeney Tunes soon took over from front-runner Whodoyouthink and stayed on well down the straight.

Charlies Vic came through form the rear to throw down a challenge at the last but the Gigginstown horse pulled out plenty of the run-in to assert for a three-and-a-half victory under Davy Russell.

p>Mikael D'Haguenet did well to stay on again in the closing stages and secure third place.

The Paul Nolan-trained winner had just been touched off in a competitive Leopardstown handicap last month and was sent off 3/1 second choice in the market today.

“It's nice to win these Grade 2s but at the end of the dayp>Mikael D'Haguenet looked like he would have sluiced in,” admitted Nolan.

“He's entered in the Pulteney Land Investments Novice Handicap Chase at Cheltenham but he was given a mark over 140 so he's not eligible for that.

“He's in some of the open handicaps at Cheltenham but running this close to the festival is not ideal so we might look at the Irish National instead.”

(Additional reporting by Alan Magee)

Will there be another Irish winner at Aintree?

A lot has been said recently about the fact that the Irish contingent at Cheltenham tend to stoke up the fires of Anglo-Irish needle with their flag waving and chest beating due to our incredible success in recent years. As pointed out previously, this is nothing more than a bit of harmless fun that some folk on both sides of the Irish Sea take a little too seriously.