Fairyhouse: Tullow Tank triumphant on Chasing debut
Grade 1 winning hurdler The Tullow Tank made a great start to his Chasing career at Fairyhouse, putting in a very slick round of jumping to take take the 2m 5f Beginner’s Chase under Adrian Heskin. The 6yo was making his first start for new trainer Dessie Hughes having left the Phillip Fenton yard and was obviously well schooled for his debut.
A two time Grade 1 winner over the smaller obstacles, The Tullow Tank was not sent to the Cheltenham Festival by owner Barry Connell last season due to Fenton facing charges over possession of prohibited substances, but the beautiful big son of Oscar will surely be making the journey nest March and could be an exciting prospect.
Heskin, having his first ride on Hughes’ charge, was happy to track a steady pace being set by Azorian under Bryan Cooper and soon got into a nice rhythm, jumping sharply and slickly and travelling with ease. The other classy hurdler in the field, Mala Beach, rated just 5lbs lower than The Tullow Tank over timber, was also happy to track to leader and the front three began to pull clear of the rest as the race began to unfold.
Cooper tried to quicken the pace before the turn in and he did manage to catch Mala Beach on his toes but The Tullow Tank still travelled supremely well and moved to the front as they straightened for home. He was soon clear having been kicked on by Heskin and having jumped the last two very well, went on to win under hands and heels by 5 1/2 lengths. Mala Beach battled on for second, with Azorian tiring back into third.
Richard Hughes, representing his Father said of the winner: “He was lovely and relaxed throughout the race and when he had to shorten he did and when the other horse jumped across him, it didn’t bother him,” the Champion flat jockey told At The Races.
“He had a right good blow afterwards so it was the perfect introduction. We have a slight inkling that he prefers going right handed so this place is ideal for him.”
Winning jockey Heskin added: “Everything went down without a hitch and the horse was very good, very well behaved and he couldn’t be off to a better start. Fair play to Dessie and all the team down there, they had him spot on for today.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Archive
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