/ Racing

Noble Prince plunders John Meagher Memorial Chase at Thurles

Updated: Thursday, 07 Nov 2013 18:14 | Comments

Ruby Walsh's first ride on Noble Prince was a winning one
Ruby Walsh's first ride on Noble Prince was a winning one

Noble Prince won his first race for over two years in the John Meagher Memorial Chase at Thurles.

Paul Nolan's nine-year-old was a Cheltenham Festival winner under Tony McCoy back in 2011 but had not tasted victory since he was successful at Naas in October later that year.

His problems since had been well documented, but he shaped reasonably well on his reappearance at Punchestown last month and Ruby Walsh had been booked for the mount.

Walsh stalked the field throughout, but still looked to have plenty to do turning into the straight as Fosters Cross and Realt Dubh led the way.

Noble Prince (6-1) met the second-last wrong and Walsh had to get serious with his mount, who jumped the final fence cleanly to power three and a quarter lengths clear of Realt Dubh, the 11-10 favourite.

Nolan said: "I blame myself for running him last year as he had a major problem and I was banging my head against a wall by running him.

"He should have had the season off as he had cracks down both hooves and we ran him with steel stitches in it.

"Normally it is a problem show-jumpers have and he just wasn't jumping which was causing him to be cowardly.

"He finished out no race last season and I'm delighted he won today as he is now back on track.

"I thought there were two horses that were better than me and coming here I thought he was down to a mark that he might have a chance in a big handicap in England.

"The handicapper won't put us up too much for that, hopefully."

A patient David Casey ride aboard Gentleman Duke (11-4) was rewarded in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.

Arthur Moore's charge tracked long-time leader Raise Hell before getting on top late on and going away to score by a cosy two and a quarter lengths.

Georgie was out to confirm a taking Galway performance in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase, but he was forced to settle for a supporting role as Musawama (13-2) struck.

The five-year-old ran out a comfortable 14-length winner under 7lb conditional jockey Kevin Sexton.

Sexton then doubled up In the Templemore Mares Maiden Hurdle when Catimini (11-4) came out on top in a ding-dong battle with Diyala, who did her chance no favours when pecking badly at the final flight.

She scored by five and a half lengths before Gold Patrol (9-2) landed the Cashel Maiden Hurdle under Barry O'Neill by three lengths.
 

Famous Ballerina (5-2 favourite) landed the Holycross Handicap Hurdle under Michael Fogarty by a length and a quarter, while Wrath Of Titans (8-15 favourite) took the Toboradora NH Flat Race by half a length under Johnny King.

 


 

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