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O'Connor doubles up as Sempo dazzles in the bumper

Sempo and Derek O'ConnorSempo and Derek O'Connor
© Photo Healy Racing

Derek O'Connor completed a first and last race double at Thurles when Sempo put in the performance of the day at the County Tipperary venue in the Munster INH Flat Race.

O'Connor started the afternoon with success in the beginners chase on the Ellmarie Holden-trained Ex Patriot and here for Joseph O'Brien the point-to-point legend chased the leaders on the well-backed 11/8 favourite.

Third at the halfway stage, the Oscar gelding improved to lead four furlongs out, and he careered away from the two pole to slam Casamari Abbey by fifteen lengths.

Second market choice Amen Korner (a full-brother to Augusta Kate) beat only one home on debut.

"We always liked him a lot and he ran well at Christmas and it was nice to see him put it all together today. You don't expect them to win like that and we thought he was a decent horse all along and I'm delighted for Martin (O'Sullivan)," said Joseph O'Brien on Sempo.

"He's probably good enough to line up in any bumper but I don't know if we need to over-race him. He has had three runs in bumpers now and I don't know what advantage to him it would be to win a winners' bumper so I'll talk to Martin and see how he comes out of the race.

"He's an exciting type of horse to go novice hurdling next year."

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board Veterinary Officer examined Amen Korner, trained by W.P. Mullins, at the request of the Stewards and reported the animal to be clinically abnormal post race.

Mr J. Williams, rider of Icy Inferno trained by John G. Carr, reported to the Clerk of Scales that his mount ran off the bend and hung badly throughout the race.

(TW & EM)

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