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Dempsey takes dramatic second leg of Corinthian Challenge

The Curragh RacecourseThe Curragh Racecourse
© Photo Healy Racing

Martina Dempsey guided Fair Damsel to a dramatic victory in the second leg of the Corinthian Challenge for 2023.

After winning the first race of the series at Naas last month, Noble Anthem (13/8f) and Damien Moore were expected to follow-up and they looked set for victory when easing to the front from the two-furlong pole.

However, Moore eased his mount inside the final 150 yards and misjudged the finishing pace of Fair Damsel, who went on to win by two-and-a-half lengths.

Owned, trained and bred by Dick Brabazon, the chestnut victor was returned a well-supported 17/2 (16s early) chance, with Dempsey giving her mount a favourable mention when interview on Racing TV this morning.

Speaking in the aftermath, the winning rider said: "It was amazing and I'm delighted with it all. I think there was some punting going on. It must of all worked and gave me a bit of luck.

"I knew she'd stay and I knew she'd finish well, so I just had to be really, really patient and wait to ask her. I knew when I asked her that she would pick up and pick up and that's what she did. She just kept going.

"I've ridden out for Dick for years on and off, on Saturday's and in between jobs. At the moment I ride for him every morning and then I have an afternoon job with Godolphin Flying Start. It's a nice mix to be out in the mornings before work in the afternoon.

"Frank (Ennis) was an amazing man. So many people in the industry worked with him and he is sadly missed. He gave me a great start. When I went into him I was only stepping off ponies and could barely ride. Frank is who taught me to ride work and he gave me a great start in the industry.

"I've got a big family and lots of good friends here with me today, so I'm very, very lucky."

About Donal Murphy
Donal graduated from Maynooth University in 2010 with a BBS in Equine Business and since attained a diploma in Sports Journalism from Dublin Business School. He holds a variety of roles in the horse racing industry, reporting for the Press Association and p2p.ie, while also working for SIS and the Tote. From Wexford, he is a keen runner and has completed over 100 parkruns at various locations around the country.