Smart displays by Meade pair
NOEL MEADE'S Johnny Setaside, who bypassed the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup Chase because of the fast going, landed the featured Pierse Porterstown Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday in good style, ridden by Greg Harford.
Left in front six out following the fall of market rival Three Brownies, Harford brought his mount home a snug 10 lengths clear of a gallant Son Of War.
"I'm very annoyed he can't run in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown as, under the race conditions, any horse who has won over £30,000 in conditions races is not eligible. The Welsh National at Chepstow is a possibility," said Meade.
The in-form Navan trainer went on to complete a double with Dardjini, who prevailed by the minimum margin from Family Way in the New Stand Handicap Hurdle. The well-supported winner, off the track through injury for over two years, will now be aimed at The Ladbroke at Leopardstown in January.
Dessie Hughes nominated the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown next for Guest Performance after the four-year-old recorded his fourth win over timber in the J C'S Traditional Meat Hurdle.
spirit Dancer, trained by Ger Lyons and ridden by his brother Shane, landed the opening Juvenile Hurdle, coming home one and a half lengths clear of Highly Motivated.
The Stewards inquired into the running and riding of Corn Abbey, who finished sixth, and were satisfied that the racecourse was used as a training ground.
Thee horse's trainer, Con Collins, was fined £300, the horse suspended for 21 days and rider Aidan Sweeney banned for 10 days (Dec 9th-18th).