Mix makes light of Tara challenge

Valuable handicap strike for Cromwell four-year-old.

  • Sunday 15 December
  • News
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Alfa Mix came with a strong run in the centre of the course to record a decisive success in the Tara Handicap Hurdle at Navan.

Making his handicap debut, the Gavin Cromwell-trained four-year-old was produced with a well-timed challenge by Jonathan Moore to take the valuable two-and-a-half-mile prize.

Top Moon made a late bid, but was a length and three-quarters behind the 8-1 winner. Drumacco was half a length away in third place.

Cromwell said: “I thought he’d run a nice race and maybe finish fourth or fifth, but it was a big ask for a four-year-old in his first handicap. He’d a lovely weight on his back and jumped well.

“He’s a raw horse and is improving all the time. I think he can keep improving. He was a little bit keen early and we were handier than planned, but it worked out.

“I doubt if he will run at Christmas. He’s a big, raw horse and I’ll look after him.”

Captain Guinness capitalised on the dramatic final-flight fall of hot favourite Blackbow to make a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Blackbow had things very much his own way in front, but the pack was closing when Willie Mullins’ charge crashed out.

Rachael Blackmore was bringing Captain Guinness (20-1) with a late run and Henry de Bromhead’s four-year-old scooted through rivals after jumping the last to score by seven lengths from Belfast Banter.

De Bromhead said: “He always worked well, but coming for his first run it was a bit of a surprise I suppose. He jumped well, but ours have generally needed their first run.

“Rachael said he picked up really well, so who knows what would have happened.”

An Fraoch Mor (3-1) put up a decent performance to open his account over fences at the second attempt in the Free Racecourse WiFi At Navan Rated Novice Chase.

Robbie Power had the Ross O’Sullivan-trained six-year-old to the fore throughout the two-and-a-half-mile journey and maintained the gallop to score by 11 lengths from Brosna George.

O’Sullivan said: “He’s a horse we liked a lot and I was very nervous coming here today. He’d a lovely run the last day behind Debuchet for his first run over fences and it was always the plan to come here.

“I think he’s going to be a lovely staying chaser. Where he’ll climb to I don’t know, but Katie (Walsh) has ridden him in all his work and she absolutely loves him.

“There is novice handicap in Naas, a 0-130 if he lets me in there, that he could go for in the middle of January.”

Robert Tyner’s Fairly Legal (5-2) set sail three from home and kept up the gallop to take the navanadventure.ie Handicap Chase by four and three-quarter lengths from Shanroe Al C in the hands of Mark Walsh.

“He jumped a bit fresh the last day but he was better today. He obviously came on from the run and won well,” said Tyner.

“He showed promise as a young horse, but had a few setbacks and we had to take our time with him. He handles that ground and we’ll find something for him.”

A good round of jumping and plenty of stamina helped Mick The Jiver (14-1) return to form with victory in the in the www.navanracecourse.ie Handicap Chase.

The Eoghan O’Grady-trained grey was always travelling well for Phillip Enright and came home three and a quarter lengths clear of Wonderoftheworld.

Enright said: “He lost his form a bit and the last day in Punchestown there was a good few fences out due to the sun and he’s such a good jumper it didn’t suit him.

“When you go back to his run in Galway he was entitled to run well today and he handles heavy ground. Three miles around here, all he had to do was jump and stay and that’s what he did.”

Run Wild Fred (11-4), trained by Gordon Elliott, stuck on stoutly to claim the John Lynch Carpets Maiden Hurdle.

Ridden by Jack Kennedy, the six-year-old held the late challenge of Joshua Webb by half a length.

Elliott said of the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding: “He’s a grand, big, honest horse and is a big staying chaser. That’s what he is and he’ll win his races.”

Uhtred (5-4 favourite) gave Gigginstown a double when taking the Listed ‘Future Champions’ INH Flat Race in good style for trainer Joseph O’Brien and jockey Tom Hamilton.

Mix makes light of Tara challenge
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