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Michael Graham

Michael Graham

Plan comes to fruition for Ciao Bella

Grey mare Ciao Bella forges on in FairyhouseGrey mare Ciao Bella forges on in Fairyhouse
© Photo Healy Racing

Ciao Bella the 11/8 favourite, was too strong for the opposition in division two of the mares' maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse.

She was always to the fore with Shiroccoville and jumped the third last well. She had Shiroccoville hard at work approaching the turn in and took a couple lengths out of the pursuers when Shiroccoville weakened. Jacks Touch was the danger as she made progress into second at the penultimate obstacle, however Ciao Bella was still motoring on at the front.

She reached for the last but responded well to Sean Flanagan's urgings on the run-in to see off Jacks Touch (12/1) by three lengths in first-time cheekpieces. There was a 15-length gap back to Annieguire (16/5).

Trainer Liz Doyle said: “It was a good opportunity and she got her five grand bonus as well so that’s why I was sticking to the mares' (maiden).

“It was a good step down compared to the races she had been running in so that’s job done and she’s won her (Weatherbys Ireland/ITBA NH Fillies) bonus.

“Hopefully three miles might improve her as she’s not quick and I don’t think the handicapper will kill her for that.

“She’s very straightforward and will be lovely over a fence as well. We’ll go chasing next year.”

Additional reporting by Alan Magee