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Double Seven lands Munster National at Limerick

Updated: Sunday, 13 Oct 2013 18:43 | Comments

Mark Walsh has been on board Double Seven for five of his eight career successes
Mark Walsh has been on board Double Seven for five of his eight career successes

Double Seven could have Aintree as his long-term objective after completing a four-timer with victory in the Ladbrokes Munster National Handicap Chase at Limerick.

One of five horses carrying the colours of JP McManus, the seven-year-old supplemented three wins at Kilbeggan with a hard-fought triumph under Mark Walsh.

Whodoyouthink took the field along until after four out when the race began in earnest with the favourite Spring Heeled staking his claim.

However, he was tracked by a posse of McManus runners and had to play second fiddle to the Martin Brassil-trained Double Seven, who survived a slight mistake at the final fence to score by two lengths at 8-1.

Jamsie Hall was third with another McManus horse, Shot From The Hip, fourth for Tony McCoy.

Brassil, who won the Grand National at Aintree in 2006 with Numbersixvalverde, said: "It is amazing what confidence can do.

"He had been struggling last year with the bad summer and also the year before, he almost got to dislike racing and had to win a couple before he started to believe in himself.

"It is hard to believe that he is still actually a novice.

"I was surprised how well he travelled in the race and he probably got there plenty soon but he had to commit when he got there.

"This was the major plan, but maybe something like the Irish National or the other one (Aintree) could feature for him now.

"I put a stick to him the other day and he was the exact same height as Numbersixvalverde. He is 16 hands and three-quarters of an inch.

"The fences in Aintree aren't the same as they were a couple of years ago and really there are only three or four fences to worry about and his heart is in the right place."

Far Away so Close had little difficulty in disposing of his sole rival New Phase in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Chase.

The race was reduced to a match after all the other declared runners - Benefficient, Tofino Bay and Rockshandy - were late withdrawals.

That left Far Away So Close long odds-on to take the Grade Three honours and, apart from an early error, he did so with ease.

With Davy Russell switching from Tofino Bay to Paul Nolan's runner, the 1-5 shot blew New Phase away to win by 42 lengths.

"He has been a great money-spinner. Hopefully he will be OK as he has had leg trouble in the past," said Nolan's brother and assistant, James.

"Davy said he wasn't having a cut at his fences. He would prefer more of an ease in the ground."

Ruby Walsh was allowed the run of the race on Indevan, who pulled out extra after doing the donkey work in the Fergus O'Toole Memorial Novice Hurdle.

All five had every chance with two flights left to jump, but the Willie Mullins-trained Indevan (5-4 favourite) would not be denied and ran out a two and three-quarter lengths winner from Lots Of Memories.

"No one wanted to make it, it was just one of those tactical races," said Walsh.

"I didn't want to make it but he jumped away nicely and he jumped well.

"I couldn't believe he got beaten at Galway the last day but everything went right for him today. The ground is as quick as he would want it."

Eddie O'Connell continued his rich vein of form with an enterprising ride to win on Roja Dove (7-1) in the Dunraven Arms Hotel Hurdle.

With his confidence sky high after a big-priced treble at Tramore on Thursday, O'Connell dictated affairs on the Ken Condon-trained filly to beat Hurricane Ridge by three lengths.

O'Connell said: "Nothing wanted to go on so I decided to bounce out quick. She is fit from the Flat and she jumps well."

The Timmy Hyde-trained Emily Gray (10-1) capitalised on the last-flight fall of Piece D'Or to open her account in the McMahons.ie Building Provider & Home Improvements Mares Maiden Hurdle under David Casey.

The jockey doubled up on Pass The Hat (12-1) for Arthur Moore in the STL Logistics EBF Beginners Chase.

Adrian Heskin got the better of McCoy on Montrel when partnering Rodger Sweeney's Danequest (16-1) to victory in the Oakbruce Properties Handicap Hurdle.

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