Bishops Hall's victory marred by death of Life Of A Lord
BISHOPS HALL deserved to will a big chase but yesterday's Kerry National at Listowel, won by the locally bred Bishops Hall in a good finish from a rejuvenated Anabatic, was altogether marred by the death of Life Of A Lord who shattered his off fore fetlock joint directly in front of the packed stands with a circuit of the course to cover.
From a prominent position in the early stages of the race Life Of A Lord had dropped back to about sixth place when the accident happened. But he was still in touch with the leaders. "He was just running a bit lazily - the same as last year when he won the race, said Charlie Swan, near to tears. "He was slipping all over the place but the track is tight and the grass is a bit long. He meant a lot to me, we had a lot of great times together.
"He was a star," said his saddened trainer Aidan O'Brien who improved the 10 year old a massive 49lb, or three and a half stone since he acquired him in the spring of last year, winning six races and more than £150,000 prize money. Life Of A Lord as previously trained by Tom Costello who had also won six aces with him.
Beginning with a chase at Gowran Park in June, 1995, Life Of A Lord then won at Tipperary and next time out was a spectacular 20 length winner of the Galway Plate under Trevor Horgan. Reunited with Charlie Swan he, then carried top weight to victory in the Kerry National.
Last April he won the £5,000, Whitbread Gold Cup after finishing a respectable seventh in the Aintree Grand National. He returned to a second Plate victory under top weight in July, the first horse to win the age old chase back to back since Ross Sea in the 1960s.
Connections of Life Of A Lord had considered sending him to Merano, northern Italy for a very valuable chase this week but elected for a second crack at yesterday's race which has never been won twice by the same horse. Apart from this year's Gold Cup hero Imperial Call, Life Of A Lord was the best chaser in the country. He will be sadly missed.
Runner up to Life Of A Lord in this year's Plate, Bishops Hall was well ridden by Frank Woods, marking virtually all the running to hold by a length and a half the challenge of Anabatic with Second Schedual finishing third. The winner may next run in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, a chase he has already contested twice.
It was small consolation for Aidan O'Brien and Charlie Swan to land the Cliff House Hotel Maiden Hurdle with Private, Peace.
Hill Society fairly sprinted away with the Mallinckrodt Veterinary Hurdle. Making his round under Mark Dwyer to the third last flight after an earlier blunder, Noel Meade's charge tracked Logstown into the straight with Ideal Plan poised on the outside. Joining Logstown at the second last, Hill Society landed running and popping over the last comfortably clear forged) away to win by 11 lengths.
A good three year old hurdler, Hill Society was twice successful on the Flat this season, most recently in a premier handicap at the Curragh. He will do well over timber.
For some crazy reason Saninka started at prohibitive odds in the opener. He was never travelling well and finished 21 lengths behind the Michael Kauntze trained Blue Bit who ran a decent race when runner up to Marchaway on Tuesday.
Making all the running the winner raced clear before the home, turn and although American Renaisans looked like getting to him, inside the distance, Stephen Craine conjured a little extra from his mount to win by a length.
Saninka's trainer John Oxx and the Aga Khan have elected not to send Timanda, for the Arc but will run her in the Champion Stakes. This fine filly will be better suited to the 10 furlongs of the Newmarket Group One.
A decision regarding Oscar Schindler will be made today. If the ground is soft at Longchamp he will probably miss the Arc, otherwise he may well take in the Arc and the Melbourne Cup.
The Tom Browne Memorial Handicap resulted in a cliff hanger finish between Toast The Spreece and Fridolin with the Seamus Heffernan ridden outsider prevailing on the inner by, the shortest of short heads from the favourite Fridolin.
Cuban Question completed a hat trick when comfortably winning the Seamus Mulvaney Handicap Chase under Richard Dunwoody.
. Doctors were yesterday continuing to closely monitor Willie Carson and have decided to keep him under intensive care for the time being. It had been hoped that it would be possible to transfer the 53 year old former champion to another ward at the North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke. But Carson's condition remains unchanged and he will be staying in the intensive care unit for his sixth night.