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Wildebeest makes it look easy

Noel Meade has kept the winners ticking along recently and the County Meath handler put another on the scoreboard when Wildebeest won as he liked in the Nobber Maiden Hurdle at Navan.

Paul Carberry rode a typically patient race on the six-year-old, who won a Punchestown bumper last November, and crept into contention travelling sweetly as they set off down the straight.

He was in no hurry to take the lead on the 11-4 joint-favourite and allowed Sizing Titanium to jump the final flight upsides before sauntering past on the run-in to score by a very easy two lengths in the testing conditions.

Meade said: "He worked last Tuesday with the horse that won yesterday (Heck Thomas) and I was thinking either the other horse worked badly or he worked exceptionally well.

"He's a chaser for next year. He's a big horse by Oscar and could make a nice one. He didn't seem to fire last time at Leopardstown. He handles that soft ground and jumps great.

"We'll try and win another one, but chasing is his game. He hasn't done much wrong and wants further. Today you'd have to get two and a half to win over two miles."

Sam Red was an emphatic winner of the Racing 15th March Maiden Hurdle, though the manner of the victory was different as he cleared right away after giving punters a scare with a stumble following a clumsy leap at the last.

Alan Fleming's evens favourite had the race in the bag at that stage and he soon recovered to pass the post 26 lengths ahead in the hands of Adrian Heskin.

The trainer said: "Really happy with him. He loved the ground and he (Adrian) had loads of horse at the finish. I'm very pleased. We'll wait for Fairyhouse for the festival. If the ground is soft he'll go there."

David Mullins is making a name for himself and the claimer gave Mine Now a confident ride to win the Garlow Cross Handicap Hurdle, making smooth progress to take over from Lion Na Bearnai going to the last and driving Peter Fahey's 3-1 joint-favourite four and three-quarter lengths clear.

The trainer said: "He deserves it more than anything. He's been running great and in some good handicaps. We were delighted with his last run and David gave him a great ride today.

" He'll stay tipping away in handicaps and I think he's qualified for the three-mile novice handicap at Fairyhouse. That's a step up in trip, but it looked today like that would be no bother."

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