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Birdie Or Bust takes advantage of Fun Fun Fun stumble

Birdie Or Bust and Rachael Blackmore win the Billy Harney Memorial Irish EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Listed.Birdie Or Bust and Rachael Blackmore win the Billy Harney Memorial Irish EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Listed.
© Photo Healy Racing

With market leader Fun Fun Fun stumbling after the last, Birdie Or Bust ran out a rather fortunate winner of the Listed Billy Harney Memorial Irish EBF Mares Novice Hurdle at Thurles.

The former was sent off a short priced 2-5f to follow up her maiden win over course and distance last month. For most of the race, everything seemed to be going to plan, as the Willie Mullins trained mare cut out the running under jockey Paul Townend.

From three out, only the Henry De Bromhead trained Birdie Or Bust presented any sort of meaningful challenge. However, on the run to the final flight, Fun Fun Fun looked in full control as she asserted from that J.P. McManus owned rival.

Having jumped the last in front, Fun Fun Fun then appeared to take a stumble a couple of strides after the obstacle, in the process losing all momentum. That allowed Rachael Blackmore to come through aboard 7-2 chance Birdie Or Bust, staying on to win by three-and-a-quarter lengths.

Winning trainer Henry De Bromhead said: "Obviously we got a bit of luck but she ran really well and we were delighted with her. She definitely wasn't herself in the north the last day but looked back to herself today with the way she jumped and travelled. She didn't seem herself in Down Royal.

"We will get her home and see what everyone would like to do. She has options and is lovely mare."

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes.

About John O'Riordan
John has worked for the Press Association since 2022. He also writes a weekly column for The Irish Field and is a regular contributor to the Irish Racing Yearbook. He has previously written for the Racing Post, Irish Examiner and Irish Daily Mirror. He has been involved in racing for over three decades; having experience as a syndicate member, sole owner and breeder.