Carberry lands treble
PAUL CARBERRY, who has already made a name for himself in this his first season in England where his 28 winners include Squire Silk in the Tote Gold Trophy, landed a splendid treble on The Latvian Lark, Persian Halo and Spankers Hill at Fairyhouse yesterday. Another visiting Irish jockey Tony McCoy won the Sutherland River Handicap Hurdle on Huncheon Chance.
The Latvian Lark and the Richard Dunwoody-partnered Eton Gale fought out the finish of a true-run Tolka River Maiden Hurdle. Eton Gale looked likely to win before rising to the final obstacle but surrendered in the last stride, going down by a head. Trained by Noel Meade, The Latvian Lark has had hock trouble and it has been hard to get him right this season.
"He is also allergic to hay and has been on silage for this past month," added his handler, who may run the lightly-raced hurdler in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham - depending on the weight he gets and the strength of the opposition. He is part owned by Mrs Rosalind Kilpatrick, who lives in Cheltenham.
Noel Meade may have five or six runners at Cheltenham and his best chance of breaking his Festival duck would appear to be with Johnny Setaside in the Sun Alliance Chase. But this good, staying novice will need some ease in the ground.
In making all the running to win the Churnton Beginners Chase with ease and complete a quick double for Carberry, Persian Halo jumped an impeccable round, seemingly enjoying his new role.
Michael Kauntze's consistent charge has now won 13 races in all, four on the flat and eight over hurdles. He will run for the third time over fences in a two miles and five furlongs winners-of-one at Leopardstown next Sunday, and his trainer, who was saddling his first chase winner, is hoping he will stay the extra distance.
Carberry completed his treble on Spankers Hill in the EBF Novice Handicap Chase Final, the Sean Treacy-trained winner staying on stoutly to beat Steel Mirror.
County Antrim born McCoy's victory on Huncheon Chance was for his former near neighbour Ian Ferguson. McCoy, who with 113 winners this season comfortably leads the jockeys' table in Britain, has ridden Huncheon Chance to success on three other occasions. This was his third winner in Ireland this season, but he is not a regular visitor.
Thanks to the better ground, Aintree Grand National-bound Son Of War ran one of his best races since winning the Irish Grand National in 1994 when failing narrowly to concede nearly two stone to Carrigeen Kerria in the Tom Dreaper Handicap Chase.
Sound Man, ante-post favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase, has recovered from some lameness behind, sustained it is believed when he swerved to avoid the fallen Coulton at Ascot 11 days ago. He will be worked next weekend.