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Eile emerges from shadows

Shadow Eile landed a big prize for the Dot Love yard when taking the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse.

Andrew McNamara played his hand late on the seven-year-old (11-2), tackling Burn And Turn at the final flight and forging ahead before holding the runner-up's renewed challenge by a neck.

The jockey said: "It's the first time I've sat on her. She travelled well throughout. She probably missed one or two as she travelled so well. My future wife is a good friend of Dot Love, so maybe that's why I got the ride!"

Love said: "We were very happy with her beforehand and confident today", while assistant Ciaran Murphy added: "Better ground is the key. She got the two and a half miles well and down the road that will be her trip. Punchestown is the plan and that will be it. We'll look forward to fences with her next season."

Danny Howard stood up in the irons like Mickael Barzalona after winning the INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle on 20-1 shot Archie Meade, but at least he made sure he did it after the line as he won by a length and three-quarters.

Gallant top-weight Jetson made stealthy headway round the outside of the field, but had no answer to the finishing kick of Malachy Hassett's charge.

Howard said: "He won a maiden and he has won a point-to-point by 20 lengths, so maybe we'll be here next year on Easter Monday for the big one! The better ground helped him.

"I'm based in County Clare, training a few point-to-pointers. I won a Whitbread Gold Cup in 2004 on Puntal for Martin Pipe and I was with Arthur Moore for 10 years. I rode in France for a year and then in Australia as a work rider for a year and have been riding in New Zealand as well."

Howard and Hassett almost made it a spectacular double when Lough Donnell Mist shot clear in the Russell Restaurant Navan Novice Handicap Hurdle, but Barry Geraghty cut them down on Tom Cooper's Eightybarackstreet (16-1).

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