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Nearest The Pin takes lucky victory at Ballinrobe

Updated: Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 19:45 | Comments

Nearest The Pin was a fortunate winner
Nearest The Pin was a fortunate winner

Tony Martin's talented gelding Nearest The Pin finally broke his duck over fences with a victory at Ballinrobe, but it owed a lot to luck.

The eight-year-old, seven times placed over the bigger obstacles, looked set for second spot again approaching the final fence in the Follow Ballinrobe On Facebook Beginners Chase.

But leader Passage Vendome, who was still going strongly for Ruby Walsh, crumpled on landing and Nearest The Pin (5-4 favourite) quickly disposed of Usa to win by five and a half lengths in the hands of Barry Geraghty.

Passage Vendome's trainer Willie Mullins was looking for a double after the successful introduction of French import Noble Inn in the Ballinrobe Members Club 2014 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle.

Always travelling well for Walsh, the 5-4 favourite had market rival Clarcam for company when going on after the second-last, and after the pair stretched well clear it was Noble Inn who proved the stronger, winning by two and three-quarter lengths.

The John Nallen-trained Minella For Value is in cracking form and rewarded punters who sent him off the 13-8 favourite for the Ballinrobe Race Committee Chase, winning for the third time in little over a month.

Davy Russell drove the seven-year-old into the lead straight after jumping the second-last and though Fantastic Gold made every effort to reel him in, she was a well-held two and three-quarter lengths in arrears at the line.

Donal Hassett's 11-4 favourite Shantalla, a winner at Listowel on Saturday, followed up after being left in front when Pat Garrett fell two out in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase, but Brian Cawley had to work hard to get him home by half a length.

Joanna Morgan's Ancient Sands (7-2) has been in good form and landed a convincing victory in the Ballinrobe Racecourse Of The Year Handicap Hurdle, collaring favourite Luimneach Abu going to the last and scoring by four and three-quarter lengths under Andrew McNamara. 

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