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Arvika Ligeonniere strikes in Clonmel Oil Chase

Updated: Thursday, 14 Nov 2013 17:19 | Comments

Horses for courses - Arvika Ligeonniere has won six of his eight starts at right-handed courses but has scored just once in five races at left-handed tracks
Horses for courses - Arvika Ligeonniere has won six of his eight starts at right-handed courses but has scored just once in five races at left-handed tracks

Arvika Ligeonniere got his campaign off to a flying start with a clear-cut success in the Clonmel Oil Chase at the County Tipperary course.

The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old took over from the pace-setting Rubi Light before the second-last fence and then saw off the challenge of Toner D'Oudairies.

Ruby Walsh pushed out Rich Ricci's second-season chaser, who was sent off the 4-5 favourite, on the run-in to pull away from the opposition. Texas Jack was third.

Walsh said: "He hadn't really been impressing us at home. His weight was spot on and we got a lot of work into him, but he hadn't been really exciting us so we were a bit dubious.

"Trying to get two and a half miles on his first run back - you are always trying to keep him relaxed without letting him jump as well as he can. When I needed one at the second-last, he put the race to bed.

"He's such a big horse, he was a bit keen and I was trying to keep him settled and make him go closer to the board than maybe he should.

"He's a fair horse and I'd say he learnt from his fall in Leopardstown because he got a leg out today, whereas he didn't there.

"There's improvement in him."

Ballinahow Lady showed plenty of grit to land the EBF T.A. Morris Memorial Mares Chase.

Avondhu Lady looked to have got the better of the argument when leaping the second last in the lead, but David O'Brien's mare battled back and jumped the last upsides.

Finishing much the best for John Cullen, the 16-1 chance ran on well to score by two and a quarter lengths from the fast-finishing Backinthere, who pipped Avondhu Lady for second.

Rubert failed to land a blow in the Fortria Chase at the weekend, but showed the benefit of that run when landing the Prior Park Service Station Clonmel Handicap Chase.

Always to the fore under Robbie Power, the 10-1 chance put in a strong leap at the last to beat New Phase by two and three-quarter lengths.

The Job Is Right produced a determined effort to land the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Michael Hourigan's charge looked beaten when Unic De Bersy edged ahead between the final two flights, but Barry Geraghty galvanised the 10-3 chance and he came away on the run-in to score by a length and three-quarters.

Martin Burke drove Go Paddy Go (2-1 favourite) home in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle, while the Clonmel Oil Service Station Handicap saw 7-4 favourite Questions Answered score under Rob Jones.

Massini's Brook (12-1) landed the concluding Clonmel Oil Slan Abhaile INH Flat Race.

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