Swan has first double


The nine times champion jockey Charlie Swan recorded his first double as a trainer at Fairyhouse yesterday when Ash Baloo took the opening maiden hurdle and amateur John O'Meara partnered Pateley to victory in the bumper.

Darke's Prayer, carrying the Florida Pearl colours of Violet O'Leary, started favourite for this but could only manage fifth behind the winner who was giving O'Meara his second success.

Swan was in the plate himself on Ash Baloo who made most of the running on the very heavy ground, which had quite a lot of surface water on the home turn, to beat Caledonian Bridge by seven lengths. "The hurdles seemed to have freshened her up," said Swan about the 12 to 1 winner owned by the eight member Ashbourne Syndicate.

Noble Thyne, one of only two horses ever to beat Istabraq over hurdles, had to be put down at Fairyhouse yesterday.

Noble Thyne started favourite for his debut over fences in the Kilbride Chase and although looking held at the time by the eventual winner Pauls Run, touched down over the last in second place.

However, on the run in he was pulled up and dismounted by Tommy Treacy. An examination found that Noble Thyne had broken a hind leg and he had to be destroyed.

A winner six times from 15 starts, Noble Thyne won almost £40,000 in prize money but his greatest moment came when beating Istabraq at Punchestown in November 1996.

The market for the race had been dominated by Noble Thyne and Coq Hardi Venture but the latter made bad mistakes at the sixth last and fifth last and was soon pulled up. Pauls Run, who boasts a third to Mahler in the Heinken Gold Cup, had taken the measure of Your Sorry Now by the second last and went on to win his fourth race for Bill Lanigan.

The three mile, five furlong handicap chase was a hard nine minute slog but despite travelling a full mile than he ever had before, Pinkpinkfizz ran out an easy winner for Jason Titley and Tom Taaffe.

Pinkpinkfizz was a welcome winner for Titley who missed his ride in the opening race. The jockey explained that he had had mechanical problems with his car but the stewards fined him £100.

Another favourite to bite the dust was Old Trafford who could never get to grips with Sun Strand in the Hangover Maiden Hurdle.