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Brother to Monet's off the mark

The well-related Billybuster secured a first career win for both himself and trainer-owner-breeder William Delahunty in the Like Tramore Racecourse On Facebook Handicap Hurdle.

As a half-brother to brilliant Nicky Richards-trained grey Monet's Garden, it is a little disappointing Billybuster failed to get his head in front in his first 17 career starts, finishing placed on just two occasions.

However, he ran a career-best when narrowly beaten at Gowran Park last week and was the 13-8 favourite for his latest assignment, partnered by Andrew McNamara.

Soon bowling along merrily at the head of affairs, Billybuster pulled right away between the final two flights and safely negotiated the last to seal a 10-length win over Famous Ballerina.

Delahunty sold Monet's Garden to Richards as a three-year-old and bred another horse of note in Strong Resolve, whose career earnings came to more than £100,000.

The County Kilkenny-based trainer said: "I have had my licence about five years and have four horses at the moment.

"Hen well at Gowran the last day and I knew he was in good form today. He's bred to jump, is a half-brother to Monet's Garden and he'll jump a fence, too.

"He's entered at Fairyhouse on Saturday, but I doubt he'll go there."

Riding honours undoubtedly went to Eddie O'Connell, who bagged a superb 1,364-1 treble courtesy of The Bold Beckey (20-1), Coldstonesober (4-1) and Molinero (12-1).

The last-named prevailed in a dramatic race for the Tramore Racecourse Supporters Club Handicap Chase.

The two-mile-six-furlong event saw a number of fallers and a potentially very nasty incident narrowly averted as a track worker was forced to dive through the running rail to avoid the field.

O'Connell said: "That's my third treble but my first as a fully-fledged professional which is great. My previous two trebles were as a 7lb claimer at Ballinrobe and Downpatrick."

"Coming here today I'd have been happy if one or two had been placed never mind having a winner and it's fantastic to ride a treble."

He added of the Jimmy Finn-trained Molinero, who was winning for the first time on his 42nd start: "It wasn't the plan to make the running but he popped out, jumped well and travelled well."

It was a double for Finn, who was also responsible for Coldstonesober.

On an incident-packed card, there was controversy in the opener when favourite Wilde Sapphire was left hopelessly at the start when facing the wrong direction, in a race eventually won by Kalaroa.

The stewards inquired into matters for an hour and while allowing the result to stand, they did refer the matter on to the Turf Club for further investigation. Paddy Power refunded bets on Wilde Sapphire.

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