The first jumps meeting of the season at Thurles took place on Thursday of last week and Bonnemahon-based handler Vincent Halley kept his supporter happy by sending out Tintown Rambler to collect thewww.thurlesraces.ie Beginners Chase in the hands of Andrew Lynch. The towering Tintown Rambler, who showed promise in point-to-points last season, was always in a prominent position and he moved through to dispute with Daimondgeezer Luke from two out.
There was little to separate the pair at the final fence, but Tintown Rambler stormed to the fore on the flat to edge out the gallant Diamondgeezer Luke by a half-length in the colours of his owner/breeder Mrs Julia Foran from Slieverue.
Halley later intimated that Tintown Rambler will now contest a handicap chase.
Lynch, who has successfully teamed up with Halley on occasion in the past, went on to complete a double courtesy of Edward O’Grady’s Le Vagabond in the Devils Bit 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle. Le Vagabond, owned by the Weir House Syndicate, eased to the front at the second last and the odds-on shot readily asserted before the final flight to see off Buyer Beware by six and a half lengths.
The Mag Mullins-trained Dani Theatre readily justified favouritism in the closing Munster Flat Race. The four-year-old Dani Theatre stepped up from her commendable third-placed debut effort at Clonmel last month by leading from under two furlongs out with Patrick Mullins to contain Souphanouvan by four and a quarter lengths. Dani Theatre, a daughter of the former Irish Cesarewitch winner Dani California, is now likely to be campaigned in novice hurdle company.
At Leopardstown on Saturday, Waterford city jockey Danny Grant joined forces with Tony Martin to win the Dimension Engineering Handicap over a mile with Laganore. The three-year-old filly Laganore, owned and bred by Newtown Anner Stud Farm Ltd in Co Tipperary, was held up towards the rear of the 13-runner field until storming through the field after the two-furlong marker. Laganore effortlessly took up the running some 100 yards out to defeat Expresso Brasileiro by two and three quarter lengths and the victorious daughter of Fastnet Rock is now likely to receive a break until the spring.
There was also a jumps card at Wexford on Saturday and Henry de Bromhead struck with Attribution in the Casey Cattle Slats Maiden Hurdle. The five-year-old Attribution, a half-brother to former Champion Hurdle winner Punjabi, vindicated the promise of two second-placed bumper efforts last season on what was his hurdling debut by leading from after three out. Whilst eased by Bryan Cooper on the flat, the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Attribution still dismissed Dylrow by four and a half lengths in the style of a horse that could well attain black-type over hurdles.
Cooper went on to complete a double courtesy of Unic De Bersy, similarly owned by Gigginstown House Stud, in the Casey Bros Supporting Their Local Racecourse Beginner Chase. The Gordon Elliot-trained Unic De Bersy, who was having his initial start over the larger obstacles, made virtually all the running and he eventually had little difficulty in defeating favourite Blue Bicycle by six lengths. Unic De Bersy, who was previously trained by Willie Mullins, looks the type that could well develop into a formidable novice chaser this winter.
Jonathan Burke, who is in the midst of a purple patch at present, teamed up with Arthur Moore to collect the Casey Precast Handicap Chase with Dandridge. Still a mere six-year-old, Dandridge took up the running clearly travelling best before two out and he duly returned with eight and a half lengths to spare over Boher Call. Dandridge is now likely to be left off the winter and Moore hopes that he will develop into a horse that should hold realistic Punchestown festival aspirations next spring.
The first session of the two-day weekend fixture took place at Galway on Sunday and Slieverue-based handler Eoin Griffin sent out Archive to win the opening Corrib Oil Maiden Hurdle over two miles.
A former bumper scorer, Archive made his way to the front with talented three lb claimer David Mullins after the final flight to beat odd-on shot Disko by a half length. The aforementioned pair are both owned by Gigginstown House stud and they remarkably pulled 29 lengths clear of the third-placed finisher Jetstream Jack.