Good Fri­day rac­ing a great suc­cess in Ling­field and Mus­sell­buragh

Bray People - - SPORT - RAC­ING EX­TRA With Wil­liam O’Toole

WHEN IT comes to na­tional hunt rac­ing, jump­ing is para­mount. If you don’t jump you won’t win.

That was ex­actly the case in the big race on the open­ing day of the Fairy­house Easter fes­ti­val on Sun­day.

The Wil­lie Mullins trained Bal­ly­casey was sent off a warm favourite in the four run­ner event. He was trav­el­ling like a dream and had his op­po­si­tion in trou­ble ap­proach­ing the sec­ond last, but he met it all wrong and came crash­ing down.

His exit al­lowed Rebel Fitz in for a some­what lucky win. Mick Win­ters’ charge looked un­der pres­sure up to that and al­though he was join­ing Bal­ly­casey com­ing to two out, its de­bat­able as to whether he would have won.

In the end, he stayed on to record a good length vic­tory and he looks sure to have a prof­itable sum­mer and he will prob­a­bly end up go­ing for the Galway plate.

Away from that race, it was a nightmare of a day for favourite back­ers with a host of big priced win­ners com­ing in, which cul­mi­nated in 50/1 shot Moon Racer rac­ing away with the bumper.

It was a fairly quiet weekend on the level, with at­ten­tion firmly fo­cused on Fairy­house.

Tip­per­ary did stage a com­pet­i­tive card on Thurs­day evening.

Once again the head­lines went to Jim Bol­ger with the County Car­low man sad­dling a good tre­ble.

The Cool­cullen han­dler has be­gun the sea­son in red-hot form and it could pay to fol­low him as the sea­son pro­gresses.

Last Fri­day was a his­toric day for rac­ing. Ling­field and Mus­sel­buragh played host to the first ever rac­ing on Good Fri­day.

It is still a bit of a thorny is­sue but it was a great suc­cess,with over 8,000 people pass­ing through the turn stiles at Ling­field Park to watch young ap­pren­tice Can Hardie be­come the first jockey in Bri­tain to rider a win­ner on Good Fri­day.

It was the venues big­gest crowd in years and it gave a nice bit of cov­er­age to all-weather rac­ing which to be fair isn’t ev­ery­one’s cup of tea.

It’s a shame we didn’t fol­low the B.H.A’s lead and also put on a Good Fri­day card but there is al­ways next year.

Ir­ish trainer Pat Shana­han is be­com­ing a bit of a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to Eng­land now and he took full ad­van­tage of Good Fri­day rac­ing at Mus­sel­burgh.

The Kilkenny han­dler sent out That’s Plenty to land the Tote Ex­acta Pick 1 and 2 hand­i­cap.

Hav­ing fin­ished sec­ond on his ses­sional reap­pear­ance in Ire­land, he bolted up in this race and looks a horse to keep on side

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