Moore and Woods take honours with Feathered Gale
FEATHERED GALE, successful in the 1994 Galway Plate and a remote third in last year's Irish Grand National, drew clear of a gallant 26lb conceding Jodami after landing over the last fence to win yesterday's Jameson sponsored renewal at Fairyhouse by eight lengths.
Watched by one of the biggest crowds I have seen on Irish National day Feathered Gale fulfilled an ambition for his trainer Arthur Moore, who as an amateur rode the Georgie Wells trained King's Sprite to win in 1971. His father Dan won on the 1947 winner Revelry and 32 years later trained Tied Cottage to win. Frank Woods, who could not have ridden a better race, won on Son Of War two years ago his father Paddy rode Last Link (1963) and Splash (1965).
Jodami appeared set to record a popular win for his legion of Irish fans as he jumped on from the long time leader Cool Dawn over the third last fence but Feathered Gale headed him before rising to the last and the 1993 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner finished pretty tired. Considering it was his first race since being pulled up at Haydock in February it was a fine effort.
Mark Dwyer was also very pleased with Jodami. "He ran a blinder all credit to Peter Beaumont to have the horse back in such form. He missed the last but he was getting tired. If he had had the benefit of a recent race he must have finished there or there abouts. The Whitbread is his race if the ground is not too firm.
Arthur Moore, who admitted that victory with Klairon Davis in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham was his greatest achievement to date, was nonetheless thrilled that he had at last won the Irish National after several placed efforts. He said that Feathered Gale had a nice preparation race in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter. "The ground was a bit tacky for him there but it was perfect today."
The Whitbread Gold Cup at Sandown on April 27th is also the objective for yesterday's winner on whom Frank Woods had quite a tough ride as he was off the bridle for most of the race. "I had to niggle him along and he made a bad mistake five out. At the third last I thought he would be placed at best but when he turned for home he had a new lease of life and I thought I would win at the second last."
The English trained hunter chaser Cool Dawn finished a well beaten third but gave Conor O'Dwyer a "super ride". Go Go Gallant, a stable companion of Gold Cup hero Imperial Call, finished fourth under Charlie Swan after a great effort and he was followed home by the Midlands National winner Another Excuse with Son Of War, who had fallen in the Aintree Grand National doing his best work at the finish. Norman Conqueror cracked a bone in his knee and is to be operated on today. Richard Dunwoody was badly shaken after a heavy fall on Lord Singapore and was forced to stand down by the doctor for the rest of the meeting.
Castlekellyleader readily confirmed his Punchestown superiority over Rifawan in the Jameson Gold Cup Novice Hurdle only this time he made all the running to win by ten lengths. He made mistakes at three or four hurdles but could not have been helped by racing on his own.
Paddy Mullins's charge bypassed Cheltenham's Supreme Novice Hurdle to run at Fairyhouse and Punchestown, where he is bound next time out providing he comes out of yesterday's race with no ill effects. Chasing will be his game, and as he has a turn of foot he should do well over the bigger obstacles next season.
Embellished was given a most confident and stylish ride by Paul Carberry to win a fast run Sam Dennigan Hurdle by two and a half lengths from Lady Arpel with the winner's stable companion Street View 10 lengths back in third place. Thus, the Noel Meade trained four year old compensated in some measure for being brought down when in a challenging position before the last flight in Cheltenham's Triumph Hurdle.
The winner, who jumped into second place behind Lady Arpel over the second last, fairly pinged the final obstacle in front. He may have been backward before Cheltenham but he is on the upgrade and will next run in the champion four year old hurdle at Punchestown following which he will have his summer break. Meade and Carberry completed a double with Heist in the Newgate Mercedes Benz Beginners Chase.
Huncheon Chance, who ran well for a long way in a two and a half miles hurdle at Liverpool but was done for speed in the closing stages, won the two furlongs longer handicap hurdle at extraordinary generous tote odds of 20/I. Ian Ferguson's consistent course winner has to be tough to have got over his Aintree exertions so soon. Ridden by Dwyer, the winner tracked Carberrys mount Hillson over the second last and won from Tryfirion.
Huncheon Chance will be tried over three miles in a handicap hurdle at Punchestown.