Benbulben back in business

  • Last Updated: December 1 2012, 17:38 GMT

Mount Benbulben got his fencing career back on track with a smooth success in the Nicky Connors - Lifetime In Racing Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse.

Davy Russell: Completed a treble

A Grade Two winner last season as a novice hurdler, the Gordon Elliott-trained seven-year-old was third on his chasing debut at Naas in October and fell at Punchestown last month.

Davy Condon's mount made a bad mistake on this occasion too, at the second fence, but slowly recovered his momentum.

Not always fluent, the 8-13 favourite improved strongly moving to two out.

Despite a minor error at the last, he cruised home by five lengths from Mackeys Forge, who had disputed matters for a long way.

The lame Mikael D'Haguenet was a non-runner.

"Mount Benbulben has got a right engine if we can get his jumping right," said Elliott.

"He is a bit sketchy and it was a good performance considering he was nearly on the ground (at the second fence).

"We'll look for something over Christmas, he's entered in the three-mile Fort Leney Chase at Leopardstown and he'd have no trouble staying that trip."

Owners Gigginstown House Stud and their retained jockey Davy Russell were on song with a treble through Bright New Dawn, Midnight Game and Bog Warrior, all for different trainers.

Bright New Dawn (5-1) made all as he claimed the Tote Jackpot Races 3 To 6 Maiden Hurdle from the highly-touted Noel Meade-trained Ned Buntline.

Trainer Dessie Hughes was at Newbury to supervise Magnanimity in the Hennessy, but Russell said: "We always thought a lot of him and bowling along in front seemed to suit him. He had a lovely first run last year but got very keen after that run."

The Willie Mullins-trained Midnight Game (5-2) went clear on the flat to take the Fairyhouse On Facebook Hurdle in cosy fashion.

The winner's stablemate Simenon was a significant absentee having been reported to be lame.

Mullins said: "Midnight Game is a lot stronger this year but when I took the quarter sheet off him on the parade ring, I thought he looked big and I was a bit worried. Maybe he is better with that bit of strength though.

"His jumping seems to be sharper this season and we'll probably move him up to a Grade Three race next - he looks to have plenty of gears."

Bog Warrior, trained by Tony Martin, defied top weight in the Ryan's Cleaning Services Handicap Hurdle.

The evens favourite, a Grade One winner over fences, gained a confidence-boosting eight-length success over Wise Oscar.

"I'm absolutely delighted. Davy said he went down like an old pro today - he was only a baby last year," said Martin.

"As soon as he jumped the third-last he put the race to bed in a flash. We probably should have left him alone after the fall he got at Leopardstown as he was never right after that.

"Today's win will leave him right to have a go at something better."

Russell and Gigginstown had a rare reverse when Far Away So Close was second in the Bar One Racing Ballyhack Handicap Chase as Sean Byrne's Lead Kindly Light (11-1) took top honours.

Russell's mount made a bad error when in front with two to jump, losing plenty of ground in the process.

He rallied well, however, only to be not too fluent at the last and in the end could not peg back the Andrew Leigh-ridden winner, who is likely to head to Leopardstown over Christmas for a two-mile handicap.


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