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Kilbeggan bumper winner turns over Irish Derby fifth

Minella Mate (second left) Minella Mate (second left)
© Photo Healy Racing

Rated 106 and fifth in the Irish Derby, Up And Under was sent off 4/9 for the Tote.ie Never Beaten By SP (QR) Maiden but favourite backers would have been uneasy quite a long way from home and second reserve Minella Mate came home in front to cause a 66/1 boilover.

Owned and trained by John Nallen, the winner was always handy under John Gleeson who kicked for home rounding the home turn. The Shantou gelding stayed on well to score by a length and three quarters. Up And Under, struggling in fifth on the home turn, did stay on to grab second spot but overall it was a flat performance from the market leader.

Assistant trainer 'Corky' Carroll said afterwards: “It was a bit of a surprise on the day but this horse works extremely well up the Old Vic.

“He won his bumper and we probably ran him over too far first time over hurdles.

“We said we'd drop him back to a mile-and-a-half with Galway in mind. We knew he'd get up the hill after staying two miles in his bumper so we rode him good and positive and he gave him a great ride.

“We'll have to chat to the boss now and see what the plans are.”

Gleeson told RTE: "I rang John (Nallen) about eleven o'clock this morning when I saw he was second reserve and I just said to him, in case he gets in, I'd love to ride him. I won a bumper on him in Kilbeggan so I'm delighted.

"He was a bit tricky to load, he's a bit of a character and gets a bit wound up. We put the red hood on him today going down and once he was in, he stood there well. He has plenty of ability event though he's a bit giddy."

Quotes from Gary Carson

About Mark Nunan
Mark has followed racing since he was a teenager and worked for many years as a broadcaster with the Irish version of Racecall. He joined the Press Association in 2019 and is also a contributor to the Racing Post. A native of Kildare, he now lives in Sligo.