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Warrior back to winning ways at Naas

Updated: Saturday, 11 Feb 2012 17:35

Bog Warrior is unlikely to line up at this season's Cheltenham Festival
Bog Warrior is unlikely to line up at this season's Cheltenham Festival

Bog Warrior justified cramped odds of 1-5 in the BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Novice Chase at Naas.

His task was made easier by the late withdrawals of Blackstairmountain and Donnas Palm and Davy Russell dictated matters from the front.

He looked a very smart prospect when winning the Drinmore but fell on his last start.

Jumping safely rather than exuberantly, Bog Warrior never came off the bridle in beating Slieveardagh by 11 lengths and trainer Tony Martin can now look to the future.

"I'm very relieved and he's back on track," said Martin.

"There'd been no signs that his fall had affected him in his schooling. He jumped grand today. Davy thought his jumping was right enough.

"The ground will dictate where we go, he definitely likes to get into it, but once there's yielding in it I'd be happy to take my chance.

"Where next I don't know. We'll get him back and see how he is because he did put his back out when he fell.

"I wouldn't be that bothered about missing Cheltenham this year as next year I see him as a Lexus horse in soft ground. He's definitely a winter horse."

There was another winner for Russell in the same Gigginstown House Stud colours when Gates Of Rome got his head in front for the first time over fences in the Tote Trifecta Rollover Beginners Chase.

Colm Murphy's eight-year-old (3-1) had the favourite Shinrock Paddy for company in the closing stages and forged ahead after the last to win by a length and a quarter.

Bat Masterson disappointed when odds-on favourite at Limerick last time, but first-time blinkers seemed to do the trick in the Paddy Power Cheltenham Trial Sunday 26th February Maiden Hurdle.

Davy Condon was always close to the pace on the Noel Meade-trained 13-2 chance, who ran on far too strongly in the straight for favourite Midnight Oil, winning by four and three-quarter lengths.

Dual bumper winner Bridgets Pet was pulled up after making a bad mistake on his jumping debut but put that well behind him with an eyecatching victory in the Tote Jackpot Maiden Hurdle.

Tony Mullins' 7-2 chance had plenty to do from the second-last flight, but arrived with a wet sail and stormed past the leaders on the run-in to win by half a length under Danny Mullins.

Robbie Hennessy's 5-2 favourite Mister First could be called the winner a long way out in the Panoramic Restaurant At Naas Handicap Chase, so well was he travelling, and he cleared away to score by 14 lengths once Andrew Lynch pressed the button.

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