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Macanogue just holds on to land Kilbeggan gamble

Macanogue and Ben Harvey win the William Hill Maiden Hurdle for the Stylebawn Syndicate Macanogue and Ben Harvey win the William Hill Maiden Hurdle for the Stylebawn Syndicate
© Photo Healy Racing

Macanogue justified strong market support when just lasting home under Ben Harvey to land the opening William Hill Play Responsibly Maiden Hurdle at Kilbeggan.

The Luke Comer trained gelding had failed to trouble the judge on six previous starts but better was clearly anticipated this evening, as he was punted from an opening price of 12/1 all the way down to 16/5.

Prominent from the outset, the six-year-old tracked favourite Broadford Publican for much of this contest, before being sent on after the second last flight. He appeared to have matters well in hand when quickening clear turning for home but maybe just idling in front he began to thread water inside the last 200 yards. Starman managed to bridge the gap to half-a-length but the Comer trained gelding had enough in reserve to just last it out.

“He promised a lot as a young horse. I've ridden him all the way through since he was a four-year-old and really fancied him in his point-to-points back when I was an amateur,” said Ben Harvey

“He's just disappointed us, I don't really know what the reason was. He's a very good work horse and I really fancied him here today if he put things together.

“I knew he'd go close and hopefully it will do him good to get his head in front, hopefully he can build on that.

“He's a tough horse and has a nice pedigree, a big Walk In The Park. He jumps fences really well and I'd say he'll make a lovely chaser.”

Additional reporting by Gary Carson

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.