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Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Grade 2 double for Flanagan on Falcon and Skipper

Snow Falcon (Sean Flanagan, left) wins the Lismullen Hurdle from De Plotting Shed
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Sean Flanagan stole the show with a Grade 2 double, landing the 2m4f Lismullen Hurdle on Snow Falcon for Noel Meade and the 2m Fortria Chase on Arctic Skipper, who provided trainer Vincent Halley with his biggest winner.

Snow Falcon ended the winning run of De Plotting Shed when beating the Gordon Elliott-trained front-runner by three and a quarter lengths, and it was the winner's jumping that impressed Meade most.

Results and analysis

He said: "Snow Falcon jumped a lot better today and that was great to see. He wasn't well treated by the weights but he has won well and we'll see where to go from here.

"He's in the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse but we might wait and go for the three-miler at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting as that trip suits him well. We might also look at staying races in Britain for him."

Meade had words of praise for Emma Connolly, who looks after Snow Falcon.

As she led the six-year-old into the number one spot, Meade said: "Snow Falcon is like a pet dog to Emma. The horse trots around the yard after her and obeys her every command – she's always talking to him, and I dare anyone to say a bad word against him to her."

Jer's Girl withdrawn

Jer's Girl was withdrawn from the Lismullen Hurdle by order of the stewards after Turf Club veterinary officer Joan Taylor reported the dual Grade 1-winning filly was suffering from an active skin disease.

Trainer Gavin Cromwell, who told the stewards the filly had been treated for the skin disease for the past three weeks, produced a veterinary certificate to say the disease was no longer active.

Cromwell felt the problem must have flared up again while Jer's Girl was en route to the racecourse. The stewards, who ordered the withdrawal of the filly, were satisfied the trainer had taken every possible precaution in the treatment of the disease and took no further action.

Arctic Skipper makes waves

Arctic Skipper, who was sent off a 25-1 shot for the Fortria Chase, got the better of Gilgamboa by a short head, much to the delight of Halley and his father Lar, who owns the seven-year-old.

Arctic Skipper: the Fortria Chase winner could run next in the Lexus Chase
The winning trainer was quick to praise Nicky Kiely, who rides out Arctic Skipper, and the sidelined Andrew Lynch, who had partnered the winner in most of his previous runs over fences.

Halley said: "Fair play to Nicky, who has done a lot of great work with the horse. He and Andrew always had faith in him and they predicted he would be a lot stronger this season.

"We'd have been happy if he'd run in the first three today but he has obviously improved a lot since last season and we'll start making plans for him now."

Labaik in line for Royal Bond

Labaik found plenty for Ruby Walsh to catch and beat stablemate Mick Jazz by a length and three-quarters in the Grade 3 For Auction Novice Hurdle.

"He's a good horse and, while he looked in trouble at one stage, he picked up well from the second last,” said trainer Gordon Elliott, whose winner was making it two from two over hurdles.

“He's in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse and that might be the next stop for him."

Walsh double for McManus

Mark Walsh rode a double for JP McManus, steering the Tom Mullins-trained That's A Wrap to a one-length win in the 2m handicap hurdle before taking the 2m1f beginners’ chase on the Tony Martin-trained Anibale Fly.


Thought for the day

Much is made of the major jumps races being dominated by the big-name owners and trainers, so it was good to see 25-1 shot Arctic Skipper strike a blow for the smaller operators when landing the Grade 2 Fortria Chase for County Waterford-based trainer Vincent Halley and his father Lar, who owns him.

Snow Falcon is in the Hatton's Grace but we might wait and go for the three-miler at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting
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