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Intense Approach wins a thrilling finish to final race of Harvest Festival

Intense Approach, near side, shades the verdict from I Will Be BaieIntense Approach, near side, shades the verdict from I Will Be Baie
© Photo Healy Racing

The 'big two' in the bumper that rounded out the Harvest Festival in Listowel set down for a scrap in the final furlong and it was Intense Approach who just found that bit extra.

The market had the Mullins' representative I Will Be Baie as 11/10 favourite with John McConnell's Intense Approach at 11/8.

Intense Approach received 9lb from I Will Be Baie and it may have told on the yielding to soft ground. He was nothing if not game, though, in just edging it close home by a short-head.

Jockey Alex Harvey said: "He's a horse that stays very well and we didn't go too quick early on.

"I was always trying to push Harry Swan (on Marlpark on and I got a breather into him good and early and I was left in front four and a-half/five furlongs out. I just wanted to build into it and not turn into a sprint.

"Once the horse (I Will Be Baie) came to me he went on again, he's a very tough horse - a really likeable attitude and probably conditions didn't really suit him 100 per cent today so his class brought him through.

"He came with a price tag, obviously he was quite an expensive purchase but he has shown every right sign and is a horse that is only going to improve in time.

"I'm just really thankful to John and everyone for supporting me."

Additional reporting by Alan Magee

About Michael Graham
Michael has worked in horse racing journalism for more than 15 years, having also written a weekly betting column on Gaelic football and hurling for a newspaper. He is involved in writing the My Racing Story features on this website. He spent a year in South Africa completing a Diploma in Business Administration and also studied Newspaper Journalism in Belfast. He enjoys playing 5-a-side football on a regular basis.