Glamorgan glee for Gilligan

First Leopardstown victory for Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer.

  • Sunday 02 February
  • News
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Glamorgan Duke battled back gamely to regain the lead close home and win the Gaelic Plant Hire Leopardstown Handicap Chase to give Paul Gilligan his first winner at the Dublin track.

Trainwreck led over the last, but Conor Maxwell conjured a renewed effort out of Gilligan’s seven-year-old to grab the verdict by a head. Any Second Now was five lengths away in third.

In an action-packed race, the 9-2 favourite At The Acorn lost all chance when being badly hampered by the fall of Articulum at the penultimate fence.

Gilligan, who sent out Berties Dream to win the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham in 2010, said of his 33-1 winner: “My wife Natalie owns him and it’s all down to our young lads at home, they’re fantastic.

“It’s a small yard battling to stay going and I’m lucky that our young lads ride out in the morning before they go to school and during the summer.

“He’s going to be a better horse next year, I’d say, as he’s still not fully filled out. We’ll enjoy today and look forward.”

He added: “I hoping he’ll make into an Irish National horse. He’ll probably go to Cheltenham for one of the amateur races.

“I have him entered in the National Hunt Chase, I don’t know whether we’ll go or not.”

Treacysenniscorthy took his winning streak to four with a bold front-running display in the William Fry Handicap Hurdle.

Robert Widger’s eight-year-old has gone up 27lb since the first of those wins at Punchestown in November, but it proved no burden.

Kevin Brouder was able to dictate affairs throughout the three miles and Treacysenniscorthy pulled out more at the business end to hold The Jam Man by a length and a half, with Column Of Fire just a head away third and Tout Est Permis fourth.

“There’s plenty of us have come to follow him today, so it’s a great day,” said Widger.

“To even have a runner at a meeting like this, for a small stable, is phenomenal. To come here with a chance and then win is what you dream of.

“He’s a chaser, that’s what he is. He won a novice chase and we decided to go back over hurdles and try to win a hurdle with him. He just kept improving and that’s why we’ve kept him over hurdles.

“We’ll have a look at Cheltenham, but the handicapper will have his say now so we’ll have to see if he puts him up too much.”

Black Tears got a perfect seam up the rail to pounce late and land the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle.

Black Tears (14-1) was fourth jumping the last and was short of room, but Davy Russell was able to find a gap on the inside of the leader Our Roxanne.

Quickening up well, Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old asserted close home to score by two and a half lengths.

Elliott said: “She deserved that – she’s been placed around Cheltenham and placed in numerous graded races, so it’s nice she got her day in the sun.

“It’s great for Caren and Aidan Walsh, who are great supporters of the yard, and for Johnny Lightfoot who owns her as well.

“That was a brilliant pot. She’s got a good pedigree so she’s a valuable broodmare as well.

“Davy gave her a good ride as well. He was probably lucky he got the split up the inside.”

Betfair cut Black Tears to 25-1 from 40s for the Festival Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Elliott, who lifted the feature Irish Gold Cup with Delta Work, completed a treble when Darling Daughter (25-1) won the Coolmore I.N.H. Sires Irish EBF Mares I.N.H. Flat Race.

Ridden by Lisa O’Neill, the six-year-old pulled clear in the closing stages to score by three and three-quarter lengths from Politesse.

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