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Cawley steers brittle Burren Bob to victory

REPORT: DOWN ROYAL, Wednesday evening

HOW highly it would rate in the fairytale hall of fame is questionable but there certainly was a nice feel-good factor about the victory of Burren Bob in the handicap hurdle at an unusual midweek evening fixture atDown Royal.

Breaking his duck at the age of eight, the very lightly-raced son ofBob Back jumped superbly and stayed on strongly for Alain Cawley to beat Garrai Ard by three and a half lengths.

Winning trainer Paul Nolan revealed the travails this horse has been through: "He started off running a very good race behind Feathard Lady at Navan but has since broken down twice in his front legs.

"Not many horses have been able tocome back from that, a lot of the credit goes to the owner Paddy Doyle, the horse cost a lot of money and Paddy stuck by him. If it was up to me I would have drawn the line long ago.

"I said that if he wasn't placed tonight, we'd call it a day and I wouldn't take any more money off the lads."

John Oxx and Fran Berry teamed up for a double on the night with two Aga Khan-owned horses that relished their respective tests of stamina.

The featured Her Majesty's Plate went to recent Gowran Park scorer Mourad, who outstayed and thoroughly outbattled Teacht An Earraig to win going away by half a dozen lengths.

Berry said: "He's a straightforward ride. Consulate gave me a nice lead most of the way. He ran a bit green when he was challenged but ran on well."                                         
The double was initiated half an hour previously by Barizan in the nursery, who appreciated every yard of the testing seven furlongs to beat Pride Celebre by almost two lengths.

"He's a lazy horse, I thought we were in trouble early on but he stays well and stamina made all the difference," said the winning rider.

Barry Geraghty picked up where he left off at Killarney on Sunday, winning the opening maiden hurdle by three lengths on the James Halpin-trained Noble Commander who had too many guns for the well-backed favourite The Patriarch Game.

Jacqui Kidd was unseated from front-running Glad Lion at the fifth flight and was taken to hospital for x-ray on a suspected broken arm.

Jim Gorman has enjoyed some good days at this track in the not too distant past and saddled his eighth winner of the season when Urban Beach stayed on well under Danny Grant to beat the more complicated-looking Ravati by half a length.

"If he gets into the good nursery at Listowel, that's probably where we'll go. He'll have a couple more runs and that'll be it for the season," said the winning trainer.

EdHarty and rider James Sullivan teamed up to win the apprentice handicap with Holly Hill, who ran out a ready enough length and a quarter winner over Aldocos.

Star performance
Notwithstanding the double for Oxx, Berry and the Aga Khan, Paul Nolan deserves the gong for getting Burren Bob back to rude enough health to finally break his duck in the handicap hurdle.


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