News Round-Up: Very Wood makes winning chase debut
Albert Bartlett winner Very Wood made a winning start to life over fences at Galway, putting in a decent round of jumping before outstaying his rivals in the 2m 6f Beginner’s Chase on the card. There was no bells and whistles about the performance but Noel Meade’s charge did what he had to in seeing off his ten rivals and was going away at the end.
Afterwards jockey Bryan Cooper was happy enough with the performance: “He’s bred to be a chaser and has loads of scope. You’d have to be happy with that. He picked up quicker than I thought after getting a squeeze after the last; I think we got there too soon. I think a more galloping track is what he wants.”
Also at Galway, it was a significant day for Adrian Heskin as he recorded his first victory for his new boss Barry Connell. Heskin steered Black Benny to victory in the 2m 6f Handicap Chase on the card for Shane Broderick and completed a personal double later in the day on Ronava in the 2 mile handicap hurdle.
Danny Mullins, who had been replaced by Heskin as Connell’s number one, was also trying to prove a point and recorded a double of his own. Mullins was at his best in the opening Novice Hurdle, giving Mumbo Bay a fine front running ride to record a 1 3/4 length win. The double was brought up later on board the Tony Mullins trained Battling Boru.
At Wexford the feature race on the card was the Listed M.W Hickey Memorial Chase and it turned out to be a procession for the Dessie Hughes trained Seefood. In the end, the 2/1 joint favourite would only have to take on two rivals after Pollywollydoodle refused to race but was under no duress to score from the front under Barry Geraghty, eventually coming home 39 lengths ahead of fellow joint favourite Thomond.
Looking ahead to next weekend and the National Hunt season will really kick into gear after a star studded field was announced for the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. Harry Topper and Silviniaco Conti, winners of the last two renewals, are joined in the entries by the likes of First Lieutenant, Menorah and The Giant Bolster.
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Tim Ireland/PA Archive
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