/ Racing

O'Grady's Front is back in business

Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 16:06

Back In Front comes through Thurles slog victorious
Back In Front comes through Thurles slog victorious

Back In Front is set to tackle the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas after getting back to winning ways at Thurles on Thursday.

Edward O'Grady's charge atoned for his tumble at Clonmel last time when emerging on top after a slog through the mud in the Glen Chase.

The Bob Back gelding went clear before five out, under Paddy Flood, and stayed on well from two out to repel the renewed challenge of long-time leader Romek by six lengths.

'Paddy thought he had a nice bit of horse left if something came to him. Hopefully he'll go for the Lexus over Christmas now,' said O'Grady.

Hedgehunter is also on course for the Grade 1 feature at Leopardstown after Willie Mullins declared himself "absolutely delighted" with his performance following his return in the Rock Of Cashel Hurdle.

The 2005 Grand National winner stayed on to finish fifth behind stable-mate Mossy Green.

Sweet Kiln had the field stretched out early but had to give way to Mossy Green before the turn with Pacolet flying home late to grab second.

'We'll try and find another hurdle or chase for Mossy Green. He likes this track and hopefully we can win another race with him this season,' said Mullins.

'I'm absolutely delighted with Hedgehunter. He ran better than I expected and will head for the Lexus now.'

Don't Be Bitin is also set to tackle Grade 1 company at Leopardstown after opening his account over fences in the beginners chase.

Davy Russell's mount hit the lead after front-runner Gaspar made a bad mistake three out and stayed on well down the straight to repel the challenge of Slyguff Rory by two lengths.

'I think that the race the last day came a bit too quick after Leopardstown. He doesn't want much further than this either. Two-and-a-half miles stretches his stamina,' said trainer Eoin Griffin.

'He'll go for the Durkan News Homes Novice Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas and we'll see how he steps up to that."

Jim Culloty was celebrating his first victory under rules as a trainer after Braun Star produced a gutsy front-running performance to land the handicap chase.

Adrian Lane made most of the running on the gelding and he fought doggedly to see off the challenge of Templers Hall down the straight, scoring by a length.

Culloty has 20 in training at his base in Mallow: 'That bears no resemblance to riding. I shed a tear there while the only time I would ever shed a tear riding was if I was flat on my back.

'He's a grand horse and I would like to thank his owner Con Harrington for sending him to me as I was totally unproven at the game. I also have to give a pat on the back to the jockey as he gave him a great ride.'

The Holy Cross 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle produced a bobbing finish with Loup Du Saubouas getting his head on front where it mattered to edge the verdict from Mrs Diniver.

Winning rider Paul Carberry completed a double in the last when The Colt King came with a strong run to lead at the last and claim the Munster Handicap Hurdle.

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