Chicago Grey's day at Thurles

 

Racing:Triumph Hurdle third Mourad was relegated to the runner-up spot as Chicago Grey gained a narrow success in the Horse and Jockey Hotel Hurdle at Thurles.

Willie Mullins’ representative was sent off at 4-11 to get off the mark for the campaign under Ruby Walsh and all appeared to be going to plan when he cruised to the lead after jumping the fourth-last.

However, Gordon Elliott’s Chicago Grey (4-1) went in pursuit in the home straight and with very little to chose between them at the final obstacle, it was Chicago Grey who got away from it the quicker and edged out the market-leader by a head.

It gave Alain Cawley another big winner for a third weekend in a row following Joncol and Shinrock Paddy.

Winning owner John Earls said: “He might get a break now for a month or six weeks. He has the size and scope for fences and he could go at that game fairly soon.

“Hopefully we’ll have many more good days with him when he goes chasing.”

Rigour Back Bob got favourite-backers off to the perfect start with a battling performance in the Moycarkey Novice Hurdle.

Edward O’Grady’s youngster was sent off at 4-9 to supplement an impressive display at Limerick last month and was always handily placed under Andrew McNamara.

Stonemaster made sure the market leader worked for the prize and was given another bite of the cherry when Rigour Back Bob fluffed his lines at the final flight.

But he was soon back on an even keel and kept up the gallop to pass the post two lengths ahead.

Brownpolish opened his account at the sixth attempt in the INH Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Maiden Hurdle under Adrian Joyce.

The 14-1 chance swept past long-time leader Slippers Percy after jumping the second-last and soon kicked a couple of lengths clear.

Top-weight Marlay Park went in pursuit between the final two flights and there was little between them jumping the last, but Brownpolish began to stamp his authority again and passed the post three lengths ahead.