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Double for Russell but Murphy hit with ban


JUSTIN MURPHY, a 7lb claimer having only his fourth ride as a professional, was banned for 21 days by the Listowel stewards on Wednesday over his riding of 14-1 shot Plemont Bay whofinished a remote seventh in the first division of the 2m handicap hurdle.

Murphy was found to be in breach of Rule 212 which deals with a rider having to "take all reasonable care to ensure that his horse is given a full opportunity to win or obtain the best possible place ".

Murphy, who also forfeited his riding fee, told the stewards that he was instructed by trainer Charles Byrnes to do his best without resorting to the whip which the horse resents.

He stated that his mount heaved and gurgled three out and that he left his mount alone thereafter.

Byrnes, whose explanation was noted, confirmed the instructions and added that Plemont Bay is ungenuine and that he put Murphy on the horse in the hope that he might " kid the horse along ".

He said that he felt Murphy should have pushed his mount along even knowing that he would find nothing.

It was a better day for Davy Russell who was back in business with a double in the divisions of the 2m handicap hurdle, his first winners since he returned at Galway last week following a spell on the sidelines with a broken wrist.

He landed the first division on I Don't Know for trainer Mark Fagan for whom the seven-year-old mare will always be special having credited him with his first success when she landed a bumper at Punchestown in June 2006.

And Russell followed up when Mullicagh Lass trouncedher rivals by 18 lengths in division two.

Trainer Declan Leigh said of the winner: "She is a much better mare on testing ground."                

Garrai Ard, beaten ten lengths by the Ruby Walsh-ridden Vale Of Avocia in a 2m 4f handicap on Tuesday, had the champion jockey's assistance when winning the 2m 4f novice by the same margin.

Her trainer Eamonn Sheehy said: "She's a dead genuine mare and very tough.

"Two and a half miles seems to be the keyto her. She deserves a break now and will go chasing."

Glenquest gave County Cork trainer Terence O'Brien his first winner for ten years when taking the 2m maiden hurdle for five-year-olds and upwards by three-quarters of a length under Kevin Coleman.

"I gave up training for a while and only took out a licence again last year. I've 18 horses, most of them Point-to-Pointers, " O'Brien said.

Just Naturally's biggest claim to fame prior to his victory under Denis O'Regan in the 2m 1f beginners' chase was that he finished second to Denman in the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner's only Point-to-Point start at Liscarroll.

Trainer Tom Cooper said: "Just Naturally has had tendon problems and also broke a bone at the back of his knee.

"Fair play to Denis (O'Regan) he told me to drop him back in trip and that he would run his rivals ragged in a beginner' chase and that's exactly what happened.

Eoin McCarthy, from Athea near Listowel, rode his 15th winner when the Philip Rothwell-trained Jamies Choice completed a four-timer in handicap chases in the 2m 1f Seamus Mulvaney Handicap Chase while Dessie Hughes, whose Oulart finished second in the Kerry National, took the bumper with newcomer Western Charmer, ridden by 7lb claimer Paddy Kennedy.

Star performance
Ponmeoath for winning his second consecutive Kerry National and Davy Russell who got back on the scoreboard with a doublefollowing six weeks out with a broken wrist



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