Belfast Telegraph

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Fine win for Crawford

Fine Rightly toughed it out for Davy Russell in an attritional Naas Directors Plate Novice Chase at Naas.

Stuart Crawford's seven-year-old made it third time lucky in a handicap at Ayr in January and was a 6-1 shot stepped up to Grade Three level.

Russell sent his mount to the lead heading out for the second circuit and had his opponents in trouble from the home turn.

It was hard work from the final fence in the testing conditions, but Fine Rightly had enough in the tank to hold off Rule The World by a length, with Azorian and Lots Of Memories both close up.

Hot favourite Noble Emperor was an early casualty.

Crawford said: "We always thought a lot of this horse. He did well in bumpers and over hurdles and is now doing well over fences. He's still a bit careful over the fences.

"He's a big horse and a proper winter time horse. If the ground is soft at the Festivals he could go and take his chance but ground is the key to him.

"His pedigree is all staying and hopefully one day there could be a real nice chase in him."

Russell swiftly completed a double aboard the Eddie Harty-trained Fletcher in the Naas Supporters Handicap Hurdle.

The six-year-old was a smart winner at Leopardstown in January, but subsequently finished down the field at Clonmel before falling at Fairyhouse last month.

A 20-1 shot for his latest test, Fletcher was played late by the former champion jockey and finished powerfully to get up and beat consistent mare Mrs Mac Veale by half a length.

"Fair play to Eddie and the lads as we actually thought this lad was no good at the start but they stuck with him," said Russell.

Gordon Elliott and Davy Condon combined to land the Network Ireland Kildare Branch Supporting International Women's Day Maiden Hurdle Captain Von Trappe.

The 7-2 chance moved sweetly to the lead before the home turn and found enough for pressure to hold off hot favourite Golden Boot by a length.

Condon said: "He stays well and didn't run too bad the last day. A good few winners came out of that race. He enjoys that three miles."

Pat Fahy and Katie Walsh teamed up take the bumper, with Tara Flow (10-1) flooring odds-on favourite Last Encounter.

Fahy said of his debutant: "Maybe she could go to Aintree but that would depend on the ground, as it can get quick there. Fairyhouse or Punchestown are options as well."


From Belfast Telegraph