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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Trainers of beaten favourites have no qualms with Thurles watersports

Jessica Harrington: dreaming of another Gold Cup win with Our Duke and Sizing John
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It made quite a splash on social media as well as the racecourse itself, but the two trainers who had hot favourites pulled up in the opening two races at Thurles on Sunday have backed the decision of the officials to complete the card. 

Fifteen of the 65 runners failed to complete on the rain-soaked card and among those were Jetez (5-4) in the 2m maiden hurdle and Articulum (5-2) in the 2m6f novice hurdle but neither Jessica Harrington nor Terence O'Brien have questioned the decision to carry on despite the splashing.

"Jetez hated every second of it," stressed Harrington. "From the word go he detested it and just couldn't handle the conditions.

"My jockeys said it was very nearly unraceable but it was sloppy and they went a sensible pace in each of the races. When I saw the time of the maiden hurdle I knew the jockeys used their heads and went slow. 

Runners endure near waterlogged conditions at Thurles

"All my horses came back fine with no injuries so it didn't do them any harm anyway. I think the correct decision was made to carry on with the fixture and I would have no issues with it at all."

O'Brien was left disillusioned by the performance of Articulum, who adored heavy ground when scoring by 35 lengths on his return to action at Cork in December, but did not complain about the conditions. 

O'Brien said: "I thought my fella would love the ground and I am at a loss to explain what happened.

Watch: A Toi Phil win the feature Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on Sunday

"David [Splaine, jockey] said he was very happy in the early part of the race and everything was going smoothly but when he gave him a squeeze there was nothing there. He scoped clean and ate up everything afterwards. We will take bloods and see if that shows up anything. 

"As regards the decision to run the race, I wouldn't have any issue with it and I don't think it was the reason my fella ran so poorly."

Thurles replays, results and analysis



I think the correct decision was made to carry on with the fixture and I would have no issues with it at all
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