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In-foal Knock lands hat-trick


Mark Enright

Mark Enright

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mark Enright

Knockcroghery switched to the jumps for the At The Races Rated Hurdle at Limerick after two wins on the level and made it three victories in the space of 11 days in a thrilling finish.

Trained by John Nicholson, the mare (5-2) has been at the top of her game since getting in foal to the 2011 Ascot Gold Cup winner Fame And Glory, and she jumped with speed and accuracy throughout.

She was allowed to sweep into the lead going to two out by Mark Enright and knuckled down to the task when challenged hard by the favourite Pires on the run-in, the post coming just in time as she scored by a short head.

"The only race she won't run in is the Galway Plate!" Nicholson joked afterwards.

"We will have to think about the Galway Hurdle now and she could also run in the amateur riders' race on the Monday.

"We took her home after Bellewstown (on Friday) and she put her head in the pot and has never stopped eating since. I fed her at 5:30 this morning and it was gone by six. I had to come with another one anyway, so I said I'd let her take her chance. She is in foal to Fame And Glory and she is from a lucky family for us."

River Slaney (14-1) got away from the last quicker than Sizing India in the 20,000 Euros Tote Placepot Guarantee Maiden Hurdle after a battle down the straight and Liz Doyle's six-year-old won by two lengths under Adrian Heskin.

The trainer's partner Barry Murphy said: "I'm not surprised. He was second in a maiden hurdle at Thurles when he was fairly short (of work). He since ran at Clonmel, but the ground turned soft and he wasn't able to handle it. We have always thought he would win a maiden and Adrian thinks he is good enough to run in a winners race. He needs a fence."

Carrig Rua Lady built up a huge lead in the first division of the Greenmount Conference Centre Mares Flat Race and had everything bar Sandy Jane stone cold turning for home, but Jane Mangan delivered a decisive run on her father Jimmy's 10-1 shot, who got up to win by two lengths.

The second leg went to the Willie Mullins-trained newcomer Supreme Bailerina (9-1), who produced a devastating turn of foot in the closing stages to cut down the opposition and win going away by seven and a half lengths in the hands of David Thomas.