/ Racing

Esprit earns bloodless victory at Thurles

Updated: Saturday, 07 Jan 2012 17:47

On the way back - Quel Esprit, ridden by Paul Townend, continued his resurgence with victory in the Grade 3 Chase at Thurles Overdue - Berties Dream claimed his first success since winning the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival
On the way back - Quel Esprit, ridden by Paul Townend, continued his resurgence with victory in the Grade 3 Chase at Thurles Overdue - Berties Dream claimed his first success since winning the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival

High-class grey Quel Esprit continued his confidence-boosting return to winning form with a bloodless victory in the feature Beamish Stout Phil Sweeney Memorial Chase at Thurles.

Willie Mullins' eight-year-old, who failed to complete in three consecutive top-level races before winning at Naas on his return to action, was sent off the 2-7 favourite against just four opponents in the Grade Three event.

Paul Townend settled him in second for much of the way before allowing him to stride into the lead approaching five out, and he jumped the remaining obstacles without alarm to coast in by 15 lengths.

Berties Dream, winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2010, landed his first victory over fences in the Devil's Bit Beginners Chase.

Andrew Lynch, who went on to record a treble, sent Henry de Bromhead's nine-year-old (6-4 joint-favourite) to the front and he jumped his rivals into the ground in the testing conditions to beat market rival Marlay Park by 24 lengths.

Lynch and De Bromhead completed a double when similarly enterprising tactics paid off with 5-4 favourite Jack Bene in the thurles.ie Maiden Hurdle.

The six-year-old was threatened by Quaquo De Flotte coming down the straight but appeared to have beaten off his rival until he tied up in the closing stages, holding on by just half a length.

Lynch joined up with Rodger Sweeney to win the Munster Handicap Hurdle on Fiery Oscar (5-1), who put up a gutsy display to beat off favourite Mark Me Up and score by two and three-quarter lengths.

David Finn's point winner Torremuelle (8-1) galloped on strongly under Ben Dalton to hold off Cochise by a length and a quarter in the Kennedy's Parnell St Live Music Venue Handicap Chase.

Barry O'Neill produced the Colin Bowe-trained Glibin (7-2) approaching the final flight in the Cashel Mares Maiden Hurdle and she had too much in the locker for favourite Tellherimnothere, winning well by three and three-quarter lengths.

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