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Extra 2lb claim for Ryan proves vital in tight finish

Charming Star just pips Hey Whatever (nearside)Charming Star just pips Hey Whatever (nearside)
© Photo Healy Racing

Charming Star confirmed the promise of his debut run at Navan earlier this month when coming out best in a thrilling finish to the MAC Fuels & General Supplies Maiden at Listowel.

The Tom McCourt-trained gelding was a 50/1 shot when fourth to the odds-on Earth Dance at Navan but went off at 5/1 here against six rivals. Harsh headed the front-running Nomenclature early in the straight of this 1m4f event but was in turn collared by both Charming Star and Hey Whatever in the closing stages.

James Ryan’s mount just got the call by short-head in the photo with Harsh half-a-length back in third.

McCourt said, "James had lost the 7lb claim the other day so the extra 2lb came in handy! He got 31 winners as a 7lb claimer.

"It was mostly through Michael Donohoe (of BBA Ireland) that got him for me. The people who own him have plenty of good horses, this horse was expensive as a yearling (cost 180,000 at the Goffs Orby Sale) and has a great pedigree.

"The dam was very good over 1m4f on soft ground so we thought he'd want all of it today. He wouldn't do anything flashy at home and is more stamina than speed.

"He is honest but looks at everything and that's why I have cheekpieces. He is tough, all he does is stay and I'd say he could be sold now."

Ryan partnered his 30th winner on Plume Noire at Fairyhouse on Monday and, with a few days extra grace given at his previous claim, today was the last day he could claim the 7lb.

Quotes by Tom Weekes

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About Alan Magee
Alan has worked in the racing industry for well over 30 years including with the Sporting Life, Turform and Irish Racing Services. He took up his current role as Irish Racing Team Leader with the Press Association in 2013. He has a keen interest in most sports and plays golf.