Tranquil holds on for Durkan prize
Published 15/12/2010 | 14:22
Tranquil Sea followed up last month's Clonmel success with a solid victory in the rescheduled John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase at Fairyhouse.
Cooldine led at a steady pace for the in-form Willie Mullins team but he set it up for his main market rival, who had him his sights in second place for most of the race.
Andrew McNamara decided to take Edward O'Grady's charge to the head of affairs at the penultimate fence and a great jump at the last sealed success. Cooldine's stablemate J'y Vole stuck on well to get within three-quarters of a length of the 5-2 winner, with Roberto Goldback third.
O'Grady said: "I'm delighted and he might go straight for the Ryanair now. He hasn't many options between now and then and Christmas is very close now anyway, where he would have to run over either two or three miles.
"This was always his pre-Christmas target and I'm delighted that he has achieved it. I'm pleased too that he has reversed Ryanair form with J'y Vole.
"Last season he ran too close to Cheltenham and we'll try to make a better job of it this time. He has options after Cheltenham too. It was unfortunate for a horse like him that they had to miss out on three fences in this race but he's overcome that."