Hard work for Minella Melody at Punchestown

De Bromhead’s mare was made to graft.

  • Sunday 08 December
  • News
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Minella Melody was made to work hard to land the odds in the Listed Voler La Vedette Mares Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

Henry de Bromhead’s charge was pressed all the way by Mount Ida with the pair dominating proceedings throughout.

Robbie Power got Minella Melody to knuckle down after the last and the 4-9 favourite asserted close home to get the verdict by three-quarters of a length.

“We won which was great but she was fairly workmanlike. The lack of hurdles (reduced due to low sun) probably didn’t help,” said De Bromhead.

“We might look at the two-mile two-furlong (Grade Three Solerina Novice Hurdle) in Fairyhouse in January that Honeysuckle won last season.

“She didn’t seem to carry Robbie and he thought she might have been a little bit flat today. However, winning black type is fantastic and we’ll try the Grade Three.

“We had cotton wool in her ears the last day and again today but I’d say we’ll be pulling that out the next day.”

Minella Melody was cut to 12-1 from 14-1 for the mares’ novice hurdle at Cheltenham with bookmakers Paddy Power and Betfair.

Anything Will Do (9-4) won for the fourth time in five starts with a cosy success in the W. H. Scott Lifting Supporting Wicklow GAA Rated Novice Hurdle.

Joseph O’Brien’s charge stuck on well to score by by length and a half in the hands of J J Slevin.

“He’s improving and he’s hardy and J J gave him a lovely simple ride. He’s a likeable horse and any horse that wins four in a year is a good horse,” said O’Brien.

“He tries hard and he could go for the four-year-old race at Limerick over Christmas.”

Treacysenniscorthy (11-4 favourite) rallied in game fashion to take the Carmel Colgan Memorial/Blackrock Insurance Supporting Kilmacud Crokes Handicap Hurdle.

Burlesque Queen had gone past Robert Widger’s charge from the second last but 7lb conditional Oakley Brown got a great response from Treacysenniscorthy on the run-in to regain the lead and win by half a length.

Widger said: “He’ll go back over fences now at Leopardstown in a two-mile- five handicap chase.

“Today was as short as he would want to be going. He’d want that and more.

“Oakley is a very good young lad and is great value for his 7lb claim.”

Dunvegan (13-8 favourite) capitalised on the fall of leader Breaken at the third-last fence to land the GAIN Supporting Laois GAA Beginners Chase.

Pat Fahy’s six-year-old went on to win unchallenged by 18 lengths, in the hands of Jack Kennedy, from Valdieu with Trainwreck 32 lengths away in third place.

Fahy said: “I was going to bring him here to school after racing but it was nearly easier to organise running him instead. He seemed to be going well and this is a lucky track for me first time out in beginners’ chases.

“That upsets my plan because if he was second he would have been going to Leopardstown (for another beginners chase). He loves this track so we might look for something here.”

Frankly All Talk (5-1 joint favourite) made amends for a fall two out at Punchestown 12 days earlier to win the Join The Best Club In Town Punchestown Members Handicap Chase.

The six-year-old, trained by Keith Watson, collared long-time leader Biddy The Boss on the run-in to score by a length and three-quarters.

Marshall Watson, the trainer’s son and assistant said: “It was in the balance the last time but that has made up for it. I thought it was coming back to the well a bit soon as it was only 12 days ago.

“We’ll probably go on now to Leopardstown over Christmas. We think he’s a nice horse and the long term plan could be something like an Ulster National.”

The Gordon Elliott-trained Grangeclare Native (6-4) wore down 5-4 favourite Jungle Junction close home to claim the Old House Kill (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race under Lisa O’Neill.

Elliott said: “He’s a big baby and a horse for next year. Two miles is probably as short as he wants and he was bought to be a chaser.

“He won’t do much more this season.”

Hard work for Minella Melody at Punchestown
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