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Tom Weekes

Tom Weekes

Fairyhouse fences win for Festival flop

Front View and Mark Walsh (near side) jump the last alongside Port StanleyFront View and Mark Walsh (near side) jump the last alongside Port Stanley
© Photo Healy Racing

Cheltenham Festival-finale flop Front View won over fences at Fairyhouse today, landing the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase for owner JP McManus, trainer Joseph O'Brien and jockey Mark Walsh.

Owner McManus had seven winners, four in handicaps, at last March's Cheltenham Festival and while Front View was expected to add to the haul in the concluding Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, and started 4/1 favourite in a 23-runner field, the grey flopped with a 12th place finish, having jumped poorly.

Today the five year old (11/4 third-favourite) again showed a lack of fluency but having made a slight mistake at the final fence, Walsh's mount eased to the front in the closing stages for a snug length win over Port Stanley

Trainer O'Brien's assistant trainer Brendan Powell later commented “he’s never been a natural jumper even over a hurdle; the last couple of times JJ (Slevin) has had to get him around. His front end is good but he doesn’t bend his back very well.

“I think the race fell apart. They went a fair gallop and he’s got there. He’s just not a natural jumper but hopefully he’ll get better as time goes by.

“He was fancied for the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham last season but he didn’t jump there.”

Quotes from Alan Magee