Faltering Fulback comes good for McNamara

Wed, Sep 19, 2012, 01:00

Racing:Faltering Fulback led a one-two for trainer Eric McNamara in the Guinness Kerry National at Listowel. The Limerick handler, who also saddled his dual winner Ponmeoath in the three-mile feature, sent out the runner-up Questions Answered for good measure.

Not only was Faltering Fullback a 33-1 shot, having failed to win since this meeting three years ago, but he only got in as second reserve. The complexion of the race changed when the front-running Whodoyouthink came to grief down the back straight and Faltering Fullback could be spotted making eye-catching headway in the hands of Danny Mullins.

With just 9st 12lb on his back, the nine-year-old kicked clear off the home turn and safely negotiated the last couple of obstacles to beat his stable companion by five and a half lengths.

McNamara said: “Before the race I thought Questions Answered had a really good chance and I really fancied him. He ran a fabulous race to finish second. That was a bit out of the blue in fairness and Faltering Fullback came back to what he once promised.

“He won a novice chase here before and was a very good horse but just lost his way. The three miles and bottom weight just helped him and he came back to form at the right time. It’s been a great race for me. We won it twice with Ponmeoath and he was back today.

“This is his sixth run in the Kerry National and his ninth year to run here which is a great achievement. He didn’t run a bad race (in eighth).”

Aidan O’Brien’s progressive stayer Chamonix completed his hat-trick with an all-the-way victory in the Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes. Sixth on his Leopardstown debut in mid-July, the three-year-old son of Galileo got off the mark with a 12-length victory at Killarney before taking Listed honours at Galway.

Turned out nine days later, the even-money favourite was sent straight to the head of affairs by Joseph O’Brien and it was clear rounding the home turn that his rivals would struggle to bridge the gap. Chamonix galloped on relentlessly in the bottomless ground to beat stable companion Demurely into second, just as he had done at Galway, with three and three-quarter lengths the winning margin.

The returning Minsk ran with promise to finish third. The winning rider said: “Chamonix is a tough horse, he tries hard. He handled the ground but I think he’ll be a bit better on nicer ground. He’s a horse that’s going places. I think he’ll be a much better horse next year — he’s quite big and raw still.

“He has worked with Camelot at home and at Leopardstown and you have to put in a smart enough lead horse for him. He’s a very smart horse.

The young jockey is top of the Irish jockeys’ table. “I’m lucky enough to be leading the championship at the moment but obviously there’s a long way to go yet,” he said.

“That said we’ve some nice two-year-olds and that to come. Hopefully we can get a few more winners on the board here before the end of the week.”

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