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Hourigan produces Limerick cracker

Mr Cracker registered his fourth course success when leading his rivals a merry dance in the Hugh McMahon Memorial Novice Chase at Limerick.

Michael Hourigan's six-year-old, owned by the Gigginstown House Stud, never saw another horse as he opened up a handy lead and jumped from fence to fence with some aplomb.

Adrian Heskin barely had an anxious moment on the gelding (4-1), who brushed through the top of the final obstacle but lost no momentum and had enough in hand to score by four lengths from Western Charmer, with Pontiac third.

"Adrian gave him a great ride. He runs and jumps great for him," said Hourigan.

"He'll more than likely go for the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse next. He's entered at Aintree but won't go there. Adrian said he actually jumps better on worse ground."

The Gigginstown colours were also carried to victory by Brian O'Connell on Last Instalment in the Happy Mother's Day Novice Hurdle.

In what looked a hot contest, the 7-4 favourite was always prominent and led on the turn for home, but had to pull out the stops to hold 25-1 outsider Farrells Fancy by a head.

Trainer Philip Fenton said: "The race looked plenty competitive and it all goes to educating him and giving him experience.

"He should develop into a fair chaser. He's designed to jump fences and might just have one more run over hurdles at Fairyhouse or Punchestown. Brian gave him a great ride and I'd imagine he'll come on for this run."

Dermot Weld's unbeaten four-year-old Waaheb (4-7 favourite) could hardly have been more impressive in the Kevin McManus Bookmaker Champion (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race, sprinting away in the final half-furlong to score by seven lengths under Robbie McNamara.

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