Freedom’s surprise win highlights Harrington treble

Back-to-form hurdler scores at 20-1

  • Sunday 25 November
  • News
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Walk To Freedom highlighted a 471-1 treble for Jessica Harrington at Navan as he triumphed at odds of 20-1 in the Proudstown Handicap Hurdle.

The eight-year-old only returned to action earlier this month after an absence of more than 480 days, finishing a distant 10th behind De Name Escapes Me at Naas.

He went toe to toe with that rival again in the closing stage of this extended two-mile-six-furlong event, with De Name Escapes Me sent off the 3-1 joint favourite.

However, Walk To Freedom turned that form around in style – swooping after the last for Robbie Power, who drove out his mount for a two-and-a-half-length victory.

Power said: “All credit to Jessie, because he’s been a very difficult horse to keep sound and had so many problems. Fair play to the owners too – their patience has been rewarded, and it’s a great pot.

“This horse fell with me at the first twice and went out through the rail one day at Fairyhouse when he was going to win his maiden. He is a horse with a lot of ability.

“He has the option to go back over fences, or something like a Pertemps qualifier would be right up his street.”

Walk To Freedom was completing a double for Power and Harrrington after the earlier success of Jetz (4-1).

Grade One-placed as a novice hurdler last term, Jetz had unshipped Power on his chasing bow at this track earlier in November.

However, he made no mistakes in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase – coming home half a length in front of Duca De Thaix, with odds-on favourite Paloma Blue well beaten in fourth.

Power added: “They went a stronger gallop today, and I was flat to the boards leaving the back straight – but it’s a stiff two mile and one around here, and his stamina kicked in at the end of the day. He’ll be stepping up in trip from now on.

“He was a little bit keen all last year, and we said we’d just run him over two. He’s got a high cruising speed, and hopefully it’s served a purpose.

“He was a bit cautious with his jumping down the back, but you’d forgive him that after his faux pas the last day. When I wanted him in the straight he was very good.”

Barrington Court (7-2) then rounded off Harrington’s hat-trick with an impressive success in the Listed Coolmore N.H. Sires Irish EBF Mares INH Flat Race.

Partnered by Mark O’Hare, Barrington Court fairly flew home in the final furlong to win by 10 lengths from Two Shoe Tom.

David Mullins executed a perfect front-running ride aboard Put The Kettle On in the Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Mares Auction Maiden Hurdle.

Trained by Henry de Bromhead, the 11-4 chance repelled evens favourite Gypsy Island by a length.

De Bromhead said: “David said he wanted to make it a bit of a test and use her jumping and it all worked well in the end.

“She’s only a frame of a mare and will fill out, so we won’t be too hard on her. She’s had three quick runs, so we might have one more and put her away for the spring.”

Gigginstown House Stud won the feature Troytown Chase with Tout Est Permis, and Defi Bleu had got the day off to a good start for the leading owner in the Maiden Hurdle.

He triumphed by two and three-quarter lengths for Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell, with Gigginstown horses filling the first five places.

Elliott said: “He’s a horse for next year to go chasing, and I’d say he probably even wants three miles at this stage of his life. The further he went the better he got, and he jumped well.”

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