‘Ge­nie’ leads the way in Gig­gin­stown four-timer

Irish Independent - - Sport - Thomas Kelly

A GE­NIE IN ABOT­TLE put up a game front-run­ning per­for­mance to land the odds in the MW Hickey Me­mo­rial Chase at Wex­ford, where own­ers Gig­gin­stown House Stud dom­i­nated the card with a four-timer.

Suc­cess­ful on his reap­pear­ance at Gal­way three weeks ago, Noel Meade’s six-year-old kept on strongly for Sean Flana­gan when chal­lenged to score by a length and a half from Tiger Roll and give Gig­gin­stown a one-two.

Flana­gan said of the 1/2 favourite: “He is a funny sort, he al­ways holds on to a lit­tle bit.

“We were wor­ried there wasn’t go­ing to be a lot of pace, sim­i­lar to the last day he ran. You can be force­ful away on him be­cause he is never go­ing to do too much.

“We were a bit dis­ap­pointed af­ter he was beaten when favourite in the four-miler at Chel­tenham. But fun­nily enough he just mightn’t stay four miles. He is a back­ward sort of lad but we can’t knock him yet any­way.”

Gig­gin­stown re­peated the trick when Gor­don El­liott’s Di­naria Des Obeaux (2/1), rid­den by Jack Kennedy, edged out Le Mar­talin for the Meade-Flana­gan com­bi­na­tion in the Be­gin­ners’ Chase.

Kennedy said: “We flew around and I was go­ing as fast as I could the whole way. She stayed go­ing and stuck at it well. She prob­a­bly wants a bit fur­ther. She couldn’t have done much more there now, she was very tough and kept at it.”

A tre­ble for Gig­gin­stown was ini­ti­ated by Henry de Brom­head’s High School Days (5/2), which fol­lowed up her Gowran suc­cess with a tidy five­length ver­dict un­der 7lb claimer Chris Mee­han in the First For Rac­ing Footage In Ire­land Hur­dle, while Im­pe­rial Way (5/4) com­pleted a fine af­ter­noon’s work in the Jim Whitty Me­mo­rial Flat Race un­der Patrick Mullins.

Mullins said of the Joseph O’Bri­en­trained win­ner: “I think he is a horse who will be bet­ter over a jump and the fur­ther he goes the bet­ter, I’d say. I think they’ll have a lot of fun with him.”

O’Brien topped and tailed the card, hav­ing taken the open­ing Nick O’Don­nell Me­mo­rial Maiden Hur­dle with Early Doors (4/6 favourite).

Ricky Doyle had a red-let­ter day of his own with his first dou­ble on An­ti­mat­ter and Come Home Quick.

The 22-year-old con­di­tional struck first on An­ti­mat­ter (7/2) in the Adare Manor Op­por­tu­nity Hand­i­cap Hur­dle, which won de­spite trainer Don­nacha Dug­gan’s wor­ries about the con­di­tions.

Doyle re­cov­ered from get­ting a knock on the head from Come Home Quick to get the Mick Fa­hey-trained 16/1 shot up in the shadow of the post in the Wex­ford Volk­swa­gen Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles Maiden Hur­dle.

“She was a bit of hand­ful be­fore­hand,” he said. “She gave me a whack in the head at the start and left me count­ing the stars!”

A Ge­nie In Abot­tle, with Sean Flana­gan up, on the way to win­ning the MW Hickey Me­mo­rial Chase at Wex­ford

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