The feature event at Tipperary’s biggest fixture of the year on Sunday, the Grade 2 Friends of Tipperary Hurdle, produced an upset with the top national Hunt prize of the afternoon claimed by the eleven year old Captain Cee Bee, a 9/1 chance which powered right away from the odds-on favourite, Galway Hurdle winner Rebel Fitz, to score by an impressive eleven lengths with the 33/1 outsider Miley Shah running a huge race back in third spot. The winner which is trained by Eddie Harty for John P. McManus was partnered by Mark Walsh and was gaining a ninth career success, five of them over hurdles.
Racing began, as is usual for a mixed meeting, on the flat and the opening event on a track where the going was described as heavy saw the Aiden O’Brien runner Leading Light strongly supported to even money favouritism. Partnered by Kevin Manning in the absence of the O’Brien stable jockeys who were in action at Longchamp, Leading Light hated the demanding ground and had to be pushed along from an early stage. His chances of success looked slim for much of the contest but with Manning, whose only previous win for Ballydoyle was back in 1997, riding an inspired race, Leading Light got on top in the concluding stages to win going away by a length and a half from the 20/1 outsider Silky Pyrus.
The Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home of Champions Concorde Stakes which boasted a winner’s prize of over 42,000 euro was dominated by the top two in the market, the even money favourite Yellow Rosebud and the 15/8 chance Lady Wingshot. The favourite led inside the final two furlongs and although Lady Wingshot delivered a late challenge the bird had flown and Yellow Rosebud recorded a clearcut three length success.
Pat Smullen partnered the winner which is trained by Dermot Weld for owner Dr. R. Lambe.
The layers went 5/1 the field for an open looking Tipperary Handicap over seven and a half furlongs and the top placings were filled by the joint favourites. Hurricane Twister which had risen considerably in the weights following a win at Roscommon on the previous Monday made virtually the running and having been some six lengths clear at half way the gelding extended his advantage to nine and a half lengths at the line. Trained and part owned in Castlemartyr, Co. Cork by Victor Clifford, Hurricane Twister was partnered by seven pound claimer Gary Philips. Susiescot took the runner-up position.
The hot 4/7 market leader Whatever Jacksays turned the Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle a Grade 3 event into a procession by making all the running to come home twenty lengths clear of Passage Vendome with Top Madam two lengths back in third place. The winner looks to be improving all the time and is expected to step up in grade over trips longer than this two mile event. He is trained in Rathcoole, Co. Dublin by Oliver McKiernan and Robbie Colgan was the successful rider.
Templemore trainer John Patrick Ryan sent out the 3/1 favourite Foildubh which he also owns to take the Woodlands Hotel Adare Handicap Hurdle. Given a peach of a ride by Paul Carberry, Foildubh accounted for runner-up, the Pat Flynn trained Scots Gaelic, more comfortably that the two length verdict would suggest and the third home Colls Cormer finished some twelve lengths in arrears of the runner-up. Chasing and the big Paddy Power event at Cheltenham are on the agenda for the impressive winner.
The 4/1 chance Pride of the Artic turned in a brilliant jumping performance to see off the challenge of Jacksonslady by a length in the www.thetote.com Like A Butterfly Novice Chase (Grade 3). Trained by Peter Fahey in Monasterevein and ridden by his brother-in-law Andrew Leigh, Pride of the Artic made all the running and stayed on stoutly to take the spoils. Aughnacurraveel ran on to take third place seven and a half lengths adrift of the runner-up.
The Willie Mullins trained Whos Cross went off the 2/1 market leader to take the concluding Tipperary Coop Hardware & Super Valu, Home & DIY (Pro-Am) Irish National Hunt Flat Race but weakened early in the straight and finished tailed off.
Market rival, the 5/2 chance Rory O’Moore made all the running and surged clear of his rivals to gain a thirteen length victory over the 40/1 chance Kris Kindle. Kris Kindle, in turn, finished fifteen lengths in front of the third home the Tom Hogan trained Ardboe Abbey. A little earlier in Longchamp, the Nenagh trainer had enjoyed the greatest success of his career when Gordon Lord Byron had taken the Group 1 Prix de la Foret in tremendous style. The win of Rory O’Moore was a great family triumph as the gelding is trained in Kells, Co. Kilkenny by Ronald O’Neill, was ridden by his son Johnny and is owned and was bred by his daughter Deborah.
On an afternoon which saw an increase in betting and in attendances over the previous year’s figures, the Jackpot Pool which amounted to 6,924 euro saw five winners each receive a dividend of 1,038.60 euro. The Placepot Pool was 21,109.60 euro and there were no less than 1,487.31 winning units with each receiving just 10.60 euro.