Dublin: 6°C Tuesday 25 January 2022

Drama aplenty as race starts four minutes early in Sligo, but result stands

Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan’s Caer won the premature start.

Winning trainer Noel Meade will have been a relieved man afterwards.
Winning trainer Noel Meade will have been a relieved man afterwards.
Image: Presseye/Kelvin Boyes/INPHO

THERE WAS PLENTY of drama in the opening BetVictor sponsored mares maiden hurdle at Sligo when the starter dispatched the nine runners some four minutes before the official off time, which must have put the hearts in the mouths of Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan after their charge Caer ran out a decisive winner.

The 11-8 shot went away on the run-in to account for favourite Bronagh’s Belle by six lengths before the stewards enquiry was called. A few years ago, such a race would have been voided automatically, but under new rules the stewards have discretion to let such a result stand, and they used those powers to that end on this occasion.

For local trainer Mark McNiff, this evening at Sligo was certainly a mixed one. The upset at losing long-time stable stalwart Celtic Monarch to a fatal fall in the 2m4f handicap hurdle was a real low, but the evening brightened up considerably as he and rider Derek Fox went on to complete a double.

Adimelo came from off the pace to land the feature Francie ‘Banger’ Burns Memorial Handicap Hurdle, and the good part of the night was concluded as Pump Road came from even further off the pace to record a four-and-a-half length victory in the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle which followed.

Willie Mullins has never been shy about sending good horses to Sligo and he may well have done it again as newcomer Jazzaway landed the concluding Student’s Day At Sligo Races 25 September Flat Race.

Ridden by Patrick Mullins, the tiny daughter of Shantou, a full-sister to Champion Bumper winner Briar Hill, showed her greenness by hanging left in the last furlong, but she found plenty to hold off Seanbothar by a length-and-three-quarters.

Balbriggan trainer Peter Cluskey likes Sligo in late August, and that was shown on when his grand servant Ciankyle just lasted out to land the Callan Tansey Handicap Hurdle at a damp Western venue for the second straight year.

The eight-year-old was sent to the front before the second last by Mark Bolger, and it was a move which worked but only just. The staying-on runner-up Jazz Ranger gradually ate into the lead from the final flight but the winning post came just in time as a short-head separated them at the finish.


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Justin O’Hanlon; for more visit the Racing Post   

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