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Prince crowned Naas king

Dermot Weld's Prince Erik emerged the victor after a tough battle with Montan in the Naas Directors Plate Novice Chase.

The grey (6-1) finished second in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham last March, but may miss the Festival this time after fighting off Tony Martin's 5-4 favourite to win by a neck under Davy Condon.

"He's a very fit horse and he did it well. We have no definite plans. He's in two of the handicaps at Cheltenham but I thought he had too much weight and I'd say he won't run," said the trainer.

"He battled away there and he loves to get things his own way. He jumped very well. I don't know whether he'd be good enough for the likes of the Irish National, but we'll see."

Noel Meade's Dilshaan's Prize (9-2) looks to have a bright future following his smooth victory in the Novice Hurdle.

Willie Mullins' Cottrelsbooley was sent off the 4-7 favourite, having run respectably in Grade One company on his last start, but Paul Townend was sending out the distress signals soon after halfway and he dropped out tamely before returning clinically abnormal.

Paul Carberry was always going well on the winner, who only had to be pushed out to beat Mackeys Forge by a length and a half.

Meade said: "That was great, just what we needed. He's a fair useful horse but he's been dogged by injury. Every time he's run something has happened to him. He'll go for another novice now and hopefully he'll stay sound."

Mullins and Townend gained a measure of compensation when Lambro hacked up by five and a half lengths in the Naas Racecourse On Facebook Maiden Hurdle.

Shirley Casper (6-4 favourite) finally got it right over fences in the Billy Brophy Memorial Beginners Chase, Dessie Hughes's mare making every yard under Paddy Flood and cruising to victory by three and a half lengths.


From Belfast Telegraph