Festival ends with Sheehy hat-trick


RACING/Limerick Report: Eamon "Dusty" Sheehy has his string in cracking order and the Graignamanagh-based handler saddled three winners at the final stage of Limerick's four-day Christmas festival yesterday.

The middle-leg of the treble came when former progressive hurdler Rathgar Beau landed the Prestige Driveways Beginners Chase under an ultra-confident Timmy Murphy.

Sheehy had got off the mark with Fashions Monty's game success with Neil Mulholland in the Liam Lynch Quarries Handicap Hurdle.

Sheehy completed his memorable afternoon when Lime Supreme made all with Alan Donoghue in the Jack Of Trumps Racing Club Mares Handicap Hurdle.

Davy Russell partnered his first winner in this country as a professional when the Edward O'Grady-trained Colonel Monroe, who also won here two days earlier, effortlessly dispensed with Rose Perk in the Sliabh Luachra Hurdle.

Russell's former great point-to-point adversary JT McNamara partnered his first winner for Tony Mullins by sending Browne Street to the front two out to capture the Advanced Fencing Leading Trainer Award Beginners Chase.

There was a family success in the opening McMahon Excavations Maiden Hurdle as Steel Band, trained in Tramore by Paul Roche and ridden by his amateur rider brother David, made all the running to dismiss Kahrena by nine lengths in the colours of the London-based Irish World Partners Syndicate.

Niall Madden brought his career tally to eight by bringing Michael Cullen's Gerry Strange with a well-timed challenge to beat Knocknabohill in the Guinness Festival Slan Abhaile Flat Race.

• Wet weather has washed-out all three of today's scheduled British NH meetings, leaving just the all-weather Flat fixture at Lingfield to satisfy racing enthusiasts.

Southwell, Carlisle and Stratford all had to admit defeat following inspections after the recent rain left the courses waterlogged. And tomorrow's meeting at Warwick has already followed suit.