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Golantilla impresses on chase debut

Published 22/08/2015

Owner Barry Connell
Owner Barry Connell

Golantilla got off the mark over fences at the first time of asking in the JOC Metal Fabrication (C & G) Beginners Chase at Killarney.

Formerly a smart bumper horse and Grade One-placed over hurdles for Tony Martin, the Barry Connell-owned gelding is now with Alan Fleming and was hard to fault in the hands of Adrian Heskin.

Fleming said after the 3-1 success: "That was a lovely introduction and a lot of the credit must go to Tony Martin who said to get his wind done and it has turned him inside out.

"He was very natural and seemed to put in a nice clear round of jumping and won well. We'll see how he is in the next 10 days and see what Barry wants to do."

The feature MSL Cork Mercedes-Benz Handicap Chase went the way of Eugene O'Sullivan's A Decent Excuse.

A winner at Tramore recently, Alan Crowe's mount took a narrow advantage before the second-last and galloped all the way to the line from the last to beat Harangue by two and a quarter lengths.

O'Sullivan said: "I've always known he was a lovely horse but it has taken a long time to show it.

"He disappointed at Roscommon, but I was delighted with him at Tramore and knew he had improved again.

"He's now in the league of getting into the bottom of the weights for the Kerry National and will have an entry in it. He is ground dependent, though, as Alan said that good ground is the key to him."

Barry Geraghty shone on Exxaro in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Hurdle.

Geraghty only had one iron from two out but showed his immense talent in getting the Henry de Bromhead-trained winner home. He had led at the third-last but a mistake at the next obstacle resulted in Geraghty's problem.

Odds-on favourite Sandymount Duke finished a disappointing last.

De Bromhead said: "Barry said he put down at the second-last, but he performed acrobatics to get back and that's why these lads are where they are.

"He is improving all the time, but looked green at Tipperary and just needs to be told what to do.

"We'll stick to two and a half to three miles with him and Barry said that chasing will be his real forte.

"He'll probably have two more runs, possibly one at the Cheltenham October meeting, before Christmas and then will come back in the spring and go chasing this time next year."

Geraghty doubled up as Colour Squadron finally came good in the International Hotel Beginners Chase.

Making his 14th start over fences, having run a host of good races without getting his head in front, he is now with Enda Bolger and enjoyed his day in the sun with a three and a quarter-length success from Full Cry as the 4-6 favourite.

Patrick Mullins was in double form, taking the (Pro/Am) Flat Race for his father, Willie, on Prince D'aubrelle (9-10 favourite) and then riding a winner for Newmarket-based Sir Mark Prescott courtesy of High Secret in the ML Lynch Civil Engineering (Q.R.) Race, again as the 9-10 market leader.

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