Belfast Telegraph

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Cyclone rivals suffer Shark bite

Shark Hanlon has yet to decide whether to ready Hidden Cyclone for a trip to Prestbury Park following his impressive debut over fences in the Ballymaloe Country Relish Beginners Chase at Leopardstown.

The 7-4 shot won five times over hurdles, including twice in Graded company, but did not face a straightforward task on his first foray over larger obstacles.

Andrew McNamara was positive on his mount, who stayed on powerfully to beat Nearest The Pin by two lengths, with Shot From The Hip a disappointing fourth.

"He wasn't 100% and will improve a good bit. He idled halfway up the straight and met the last wrong. His jumping was good but Andrew said it would have to improve to move up to Graded class," said Hanlon.

"There's a winners-of-one race at Fairyhouse at the end of January and he'll go there. We haven't made our minds up about Cheltenham. That was a fair race and he did it well, but he'll have to improve to be a Cheltenham horse."

Our Girl Salley landed the ITBA Fillies Scheme EBF Mares Hurdle for the second successive year under Barry Geraghty.

The two-and-a-half-mile contest was upgraded to Grade Three status for this year's renewal and the 11-4 favourite rose to the task for Prunella Dobbs, finishing well to beat Stephanie Kate by two and a half lengths.

Dobbs said: "She took a little bit longer to get out this year. We want to finish the season with her so we didn't want her out too early.

"There aren't very many races for her. We'll look at the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas and there's a couple of nice mares' races for her in England at Ascot and Doncaster. The mares' race at Cheltenham is definitely an option for her. The good ground might suit."

Hanlon went on to complete a double as Star Neuville (5-2) proved too strong for odds-on favourite Vesper Bell in the Ryans Event Cleaners Maiden Hurdle, while owner Barry Connell had a treble including Glam Gerry and Mumbo Jumbo.


From Belfast Telegraph