Sunday round up – Shanpallas and Russell best in Munster
Shanpallas came out on top in a thrilling finish to the valuable Munster National, beating off Tom Horn to lead home a one-two for owner J.P McManus. Trained by Charles Byrnes, Shanpallas was last seen finishing third in the Kerry National at Listowel but went two better at Limerick with the assistance of Davy Russell.
Tom Horn, a winner at Sligo last time, looked the likely winner entering the closing stages under a confident Paul Carberry but Russell kept his mount rolling and when the leader started to get tired, took advantage to battle home a 3/4 length victor. 11/4 favourite Bose Ikard finished third, with Back Off Mate a length back in fourth.
Byrnes said: “He was a bit inexperienced at Listowel, he jumped safe and it cost him. He was at the right side of handicap at Listowel so I was worried with his weight today that it was a big ask but he jumped much better.
“He’s actually more of a two-and-a half-miler than a three-miler. He needs good ground so his options are limited, but it’s job done today.
“It’s my first winner for JP, he only bought the horse two and a half weeks ago and his previous owners are all here, they are delighted.”
El Salvador gives Donnacha a day to remember
El Salvador gave Donnacha O’Brien the biggest victory of his fledgling career to date, battling home under a great ride from the youngster. Having only ridden his first win last month, O’Brien had been showing maturity beyond his years with his riding style and that was evident again at the Curragh, as he pushed home his top weight charge to a one length victory over Hidden Universe at a price of 25/1.
Jockey’s father and El Salvador’s trainer Aidan O’Brien said: “I’m delighted and it’s great for Donnacha. It’s a hard race to win. He’s a tall fellow and is doing his leaving certificate this year.
“It was a nice, patient ride as the start was a bit messy and he was a long way back.
“He was second in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot this year, and is a tough horse.”
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