Oak scores as favourite Tarla takes crashing fall
Report: Cork, Sunday
Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Lombardstown Mares Novice Chase (Grade 3) 2m1f, 4yo+
GREAT OAK ran out an extremely fortunate winner following the individual last-fence falls of odds-on favourite Tarla and Cnoc Seoda.
Tarla, who seemed to be gaining the upper hand on the approach to the last, jumped big but crumpled on landing and crashed out while Cnoc Seoda, who was attempting to make ground on the opposite side of the track, crashed through the fence and ended up on the deck.
That left Great Oak, who was chasing in a distant third, to take the lead after the last and score for John Nicholson and Mark Enright.
Thankfully, both fallers and riders got to their feet, despite some immediate concern about the well-being of the Willie Mullins-trained Tarla, who had impressed over jumps prior to her mishap under Ruby Walsh.
A thrilled Nicholson said: "Christmas has come early today. She was obviously lucky, but the fences are there to be jumped. That's my first black-type [winner] and I'm delighted.
"I would have been happy with third as she had run a nice race. Her form was good all along and she was unlucky at Clonmel not to get black type as she took on Tarla that day and it just didn't work out."
Days Hotel hammers rivals on belated return
Hilly Way Chase (Grade 2) 2m, 5yo+
DAYS HOTEL, having his first start for more than a year, made an impressive return to action for trainer Henry de Bromhead as he left smart chaser Realt Dubh trailing in his wake up the home straight.
The winner, last successful in a Grade 2 at Punchestown 385 days ago and now three from three over fences, tanked into contention before taking the lead over the last. He quickened up well to score by six lengths at 4-1.
Realt Dubh, who disputed throughout, refused to give up in second and finished ahead of 11-8 favourite Blazing Tempo, who couldn't keep up the gallop close home.
Winning jockey Phillip Enright said: "That was great. He jumped super all the way and I'd imagine he'll improve a bit for the run. He felt about 90 per cent fit.
"He was lugging to his right a little bit, but it was nothing major really. He'll make a lovely horse over the winter on heavy ground."
Road To Riches strikes Grade 3 gold for Meade
Cork Stayers Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) 3m, 4yo+
SMART novice Road To Riches maintained his unbeaten record over hurdles in comfortable fashion despite fluffing his lines over the final flight under a confident Paul Carberry.
The Noel Meade-trained five-year-old, bought for £155,000 by Gigginstown House Stud in May, made stealthy progress down the back straight and moved alongside leader Dushrembrandt on the approach towards the last.
But both horses crashed through top, leaving both jockeys momentarily unbalanced, before Carberry regained his momentum and eased his mount across to line to a fairly impressive victory.
The race, won by subsequent Grade 1 scorer Quel Esprit three years ago, looked at the mercy of Road To Riches beforehand and he delivered in the style his cramped odds suggested.
Meade said: "He nearly got too relaxed then, but he picked up well and he was just lucky he didn't come off when he did make the mistake.
"He did what he came down here to do and he's really a horse for next year. I wanted to run him in the Grade 1 at Navan next week, but the owners have got Don Cossack for that so it will be finding something for him over Christmas now. We know he stays three miles well."