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Donal Murphy

Donal Murphy

Il Coura proves tough under O'Hanlon

Il Courra puts in a spectacular jump at the last under Paddy O'HanlonIl Courra puts in a spectacular jump at the last under Paddy O'Hanlon
© Photo Healy Racing

Il Coura just held off Fakiera in a thrilling finish to the McMahons Building Supplies Beginners Chase.

Trained in Co Wexford by Cormac Farrell, the seven-year-old victor was last seen finishing eighth of fifteen to El Barra in a Grade A handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival.

Back in calmer waters today, the son of Shantou was sent off a 9/2 chance under Irish National winning jockey Paddy O'Hanlon.

Settled in mid-division, he took closer order from seven out and improved to lead on the run to the second last.

Ridden and pressed before the final fence, he was foot perfect at that obstacle and kept on well in the closing stages to repel the challenge of Fakiera by a head.

The runner-up was returned the 9/4 favourite under Jack Kennedy for Gordon Elliott, while Ferdia (10s to 6s) was just a length-and-a-quarter away in third.

"It is a perfect update to his pedigree as his half-brother by Mastercraftsman is going to the Landrover Sale in a few weeks," Farrell revealed.

"He is a beautiful horse and is from a very good, tough consistent family.

"He is a lovely honest devil, has won three races now and is on the upgrade. He needed the big jump at the last and gives everything.

"We are going to tip away with him for the summer and later on in October there is a Grade 3 novice chase at Roscommon which we might target to hopefully get black-type for the family."

"I was away for the last few days so thanks to the team at home who do a great job."


P.K. Donovan, rider of Ferdia trained by John Patrick Ryan, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount suffered interference going to the second last fence and was bumped in the air at the same fence. The Stewards subsequently reviewed this incident and were satisfied that no further action was warranted.

The Stewards enquired into an incident after the last fence involving Fakiera (FR), ridden by J.W. Kennedy, Ferdia, ridden by P K Donovan, and Il Courra ridden by P.J. O'Hanlon, where it appeared that Ferdia may have suffered interference. Evidence was heard from the riders concerned. In his evidence, P J O'Hanlon, stated that he only felt minimum interference. J W Kennedy stated that he was just in front of Ferdia when his own mount drifted right after the last fence when he used his whip in his left hand. He added that his mount was lairy, wore cheek pieces today and he corrected him as quickly as he could. P K Donovan stated that his mount received interference in the air at the last fence and was unable to accelerate later when the gap appeared to challenge. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards were satisfied that J.W. Kennedy was in breach of Rule 214 by riding carelessly. Having taken his previous record into consideration, the Stewards cautioned J.W. Kennedy on this occasion.

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes