Déise Delight at Thurles

Following the hugely-successful Cheltenham festival, the domestic racing action returned to normal last week. On Thursday March 19th, there were no less than three Co Waterford-trained winners at Thurles and Kilrossanty-based handler Walter Power got the ball rolling by sending out the 13-year-old Marshim to win the opening Templemore Beginners Chase in the hands of Andrew McNamara.

On what was just his third start over fences, Marshim stormed to the front before the final fence to beat favourite Deano by four and a half lengths in the colours of Peter Wall. The likelihood is that Marshim will now mix it between hurdles and fences for the summer. Vincent Halley from Bonmahon then sent out Boxing Along to collect the Jimmy Neville Memorial Beginners Chase under Andrew Lynch.

Boxing Along, a former Limerick hurdles winner that has been plying his trade on the point-to-point circuit for the past couple of years, moved through to challenge the odds-on Romantic Fashion from two out with the winning 11-year-old forging to the front on the run-in to land the spoils by two lengths.

Boxing Along is owned by Halley’s father Lar.

Henry de Bromhead continues to churn out the winners and the absent Knockeen-based handler struck with Alisier D’Irlande in the Devil’s Bit Maiden Hurdle. Alisier D’Irlande, who was transferred by owner Roger Brookhouse to De Bromhead from Philip Hobbs, completed the concluding leg of a double for Andrew Lynch by making all the running to beat stable-companion Our Dougal by 21 lengths on his first Irish start.

Alisier D’Irlande, a £300, 000 stg acquisition at last year’s Brightwells April sale at Cheltenham, is likely to develop into a nice prospect going forwards and the French-bred should be followed with interest.

Ballyclerihan-based owner/trainer Noel Brett, who originally hails from outside Dungarvan, sent out his homebred Drishogue Boy to win the Clonoulty Handicap Hurdle with Denis Hogan. The eight-year-old Drishogue Boy, who was quite well-supported in the market, led away from the second last and he powered clear before the final flight to contain Kilcross Boy by an unchallenged nine and a half lengths. The likelihood is that Drishogue Boy will now receive a break.

On Sunday, the Toals Bookmakers Ulster Grand National European Breeders Fund Handicap Chase over three and a half miles occupied centre stage at Down Royal and Glengoura native Davy Condon completed a 20/1 double in this race aboard Gordon Elliot’s Riverside City.

Sporting the familiar JP McManus silks, Riverside City made progress off the pace before the final fence and he stormed to the lead as the line approached to beat Man With Van by a head in a gripping finish. The likelihood is that Riverside City will now be aimed at a handicap chase at the Punchestown festival in six weeks time.

Elliot also combined with Elliot to capture the Rated Hurdle with Knight’s Parade. In yet another driving finish, Knight’s Parade made his way into pole position from the final flight to edge out lesser-fancied stable-companion Cape Glory by a length. Knight’s Parade will be kept on the go over the summer months.

Neil O’Donnell

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