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Morning Assembly makes Pat Fahy's day at Punchestown

Updated: Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013 20:01 | Comments

Morning Assembly (grey silks) outbattled Inish Island to score a major success for trainer Pat Fahy
Morning Assembly (grey silks) outbattled Inish Island to score a major success for trainer Pat Fahy

Pat Fahy hopes Morning Assembly can fire him into the big league after his victory in the Grade One Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

Always regarded as a nice type, Morning Assembly had not quite lived up to his reputation and was forced to miss Cheltenham with a minor setback.

Only seven went to post with Ballycasey all the rage for Willie Mullins but Ruby Walsh picked the wrong horse as it was Inish Island who came out ahead of his stablemate.

Morning Assembly was sent on some way out by Davy Condon but when Inish Island loomed up he looked booked for second.

However, he showed a willing attitude to eventually run out an impressive winner at 14-1.

"We`ve had such a slack season you worry that people aren`t going to keep a bit of faith in you," said Fahy, who had last won a Grade One with Mariah Rollins in 2004.

"It was down to the ground at Fairyhouse, he wasn`t firing at the time and we didn`t know where to go.

"I feared the worst when Inish Island came alongside but I knew he was running a big race.

"He kept going in the last 200 yards and he`s a dour stayer. He'll definitely be going over fences next season and he`ll respect the fences a bit more.

"I`ve had a few good ones down the years and he`s up there with them, but he`s still got to win a few more big races before he`d be the best I`ve had."

Condon also won the valuable Guinness Handicap Chase on Klepht (12-1) for Tom Mullins.

"He has been a bit unlucky and I said to his owner for a long time that there was a good race in him," said Mullins.

"For once I was right. We were going to go to Galway for the Plate if he didn't win here and we'll see what the handicapper does. He could still go there."

David Pipe's decision to send The Liquidator (4-1) for the Betdaq The Peoples Exchange Champion INH Flat Race paid dividends with a decisive success.

Fourth in the Cheltenham Bumper, his task was made a bit easier when the winner of that race, Briar Hill, was declared a late non-runner.

Pipe secured the services of leading Irish amateur Jane Mangan, already a winner at the meeting, on the advice of Gordon Elliott and she was always in the right place on Roger Brookhouse`s five-year-old.

Pipe said: "There`s not a lot of him but he`s very tough and very gutsy.

"I think it obviously helped a lot with the favourite dropping out but he`s been on the go for a long time.

"When he was second at Cheltenham in November we knew he was a decent horse but all he`s done is improve and he`ll make a smashing hurdler next year.

"Roger had a shortlist of jockeys and Jane gave him a fantastic ride."

Dalasiri's race experience over his rivals proved vital as he provided Barry Geraghty with his third winner of the week in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle.

After landing a huge gamble on his second start Sabrina Harty had thrown him in against some classy individuals where he has come up short.

He looked booked for second again as Gassin Golf, trained by Richard Lee in Herefordshire, swept through to take it up, despite running keen throughout on just his third start over timber.

However, that lack of experience showed at the last where he was slow and Geraghty threw Dalasiri at it and he responded, eventually running out a three-quarter-length winner at 6-1.

Harty said: "I thought that whatever he did today he`d come on well over a stone as we were really worried about his fitness as he`d had a bad lung infection.

"He`s bred to stay and he`s a real battler. He might have a break now but we`ll think about giving him a couple of runs on the Flat."

Ado McGuinness' stable stalwart Beau Michael (25-1) captured the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle under David Splaine.

"The plan was always to come here after a couple of runs on the Flat. I thought the ground had gone but he was the classiest horse in the race," said McGuinness.

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