Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Panther pounces at Punchestown

Paul Nolan's Panther Claw came out on top at Punchestown

Mikey Fogarty guided Panther Claw to a gutsy victory in the Amateur National For The Conyngham Cup Handicap Chase at Punchestown.

The Paul Nolan-trained 11-4 favourite was always on the heels of the leaders and was part of a breakaway group of three rounding the home turn.

When nearest rival Current Resession came down at the second-last, Fogarty had to keep Panther Claw up to his work to beat Spot The Boss by two lengths, with Miss Pepperpot well back in third.

Nolan said: "That was Panther Claw's first run in a handicap and after Liz's (Doyle) horse beat him the last day, he received a mark of 116, which we were hoping he'd be competitive from.

"I thought today's race cut up a bit and there wasn't much depth to it and it didn't look a wonderful contest.

"That said, he jumped well and that basically won it for him as there was plenty of birch flying over the last few! He's a slow horse and he wants every yard of that trip."

Jessica Harrington was left plotting a path back to the Punchestown Festival with Madam Bovary after she landed the Festival Hospitality From 99 Euros Beginners Chase.

The 4-1 chance swept to the front rounding the home turn and kept on well to beat Toon River by four and three-quarter lengths under Robbie Power.

Harrington said: "She was good - she had two nice runs over fences, behind Mikael D'Haguenet and up north, when I thought she'd win over Christmas.

"Coming here I thought she'd win and she is a brilliant jumper and that's down to Jamie Codd, who did all the jumping with her last year when she was with him (and trainer Willie Codd). We'll look for a mares Listed race and hopefully she'll come back here for the Festival."

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