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Edmunds and Gethings break new ground in Ireland with Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren leads over the lastMarsh Wren leads over the last
© Photo Healy Racing

An astute bit of placing by Stuart Edmunds saw him land his first winner in Ireland when Marsh Wren made all in the Listed novice chase in Thurles.

The British-raider went on for Ciaran Gethings from flagfall over this extended 2m6f and the duo were closed up on by Harmonya Maker and Jack Kennedy five out.

Try as Harmonya Maker did, she couldn't quite get on terms with Marsh Wren and the favourite dropped to third before the final fence as Law Ella threw down her challenge to the leader.

Law Ella really served it up to Marsh Wren upon touching down on the run-in, however, the leader was gritty and refused to give best. She was driven home by three-parts of a length at 9/4 from the 3/1 runner-up.

Gethings said: "She is hardy and tough but rubbed a couple of fences early as they are stiffer in Ireland but she is a clever mare.

"I tried to turn it into a test of stamina, we were trapping coming down to the last so I was praying to meet it on a stride and she did. She never wins pretty but there won't be too many to out-battle her so it is great.

"That was a some buzz and fair play to Stuart and Ben Turner, the owner, and fair play to everybody for putting their hands in their pockets and coming over. 

"I was very pro coming over for this race as she had a good chance running over 2m6f on tough ground, which is right up her street. She has an entry at Cheltenham, but that is only if we get a deluge of rain and is only a chance entry to be honest."

He added: "I'm from Tinahely (Co Wicklow) and moved over to England when I was 16. I spent six years with Philip Hobbs before moving to Tom George's and have been with Stuart for a long, long time now. I live in Cheltenham and this is my first Irish winner.

"I might have bits and bobs for Cheltenham (Festival) and might ride for Kim Bailey if he has two horses for a race."

Paddy Power halved Marsh Wren from 40/1 to 20/1 for the Mares' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival (non runner money back).

Additional reporting by Tom Weekes

About Michael Graham
Michael has worked in horse racing journalism for more than 15 years, having also written a weekly betting column on Gaelic football and hurling for a newspaper. He is involved in writing the My Racing Story features on this website. He spent a year in South Africa completing a Diploma in Business Administration and also studied Newspaper Journalism in Belfast. He enjoys playing 5-a-side football on a regular basis.