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Crouching springs Clonmel surprise

Crouching Harry made every post a winning one under Michael Butler to sink odds-on favourite Fatcatinthehat in the opening Powerstown 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle at Clonmel.

Willie Mullins' Fatcatinthehat was sent off at 4-9 under Ruby Walsh but he could not get past Eoin Doyle's charge after being produced with every chance at the last.

Crouching Harry, who was having his fifth outing over timber, knuckled down well to score by half a length.

Doyle said: "He deserved that. He has run well every time but he's always seemed to find one too good.

"He picked up well today and stayed at it well. We'll try and find a winners of one at Christmas if there is one."

Playing took the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle on his first public outing in 542 days.

Not disgraced at Roscommon on his only previous run for Tom Foley, the French import was a well-supported 7-2 joint-favourite and didn't let his supporters down in the capable hands of Shane Butler.

Foley said: "We had to be patient with him. He was off for two years and he'd fractured a hind leg. He has that screwed now.

"I didn't tell the owner he was running until this morning! If he stays sound he'll be alright. He had a good reputation.

"He doesn't mind the heavy but he's impossible to get fit. He's like the rest of us when you're getting older in years."


From Belfast Telegraph