Aforementioned too good for Munster National rivals
Aforementioned claimed top honours for Gordon Elliott in the JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National at Limerick
The Cullentra handler saddled two runners in a bid to land a prize he last won with dual Grand National hero Tiger Roll in 2016, with Aforementioned joined by stable companion Roaring Bull.
Given a fine ride by 7lb claimer Gavin Brouder, 6-1 shot Aforementioned battled his way to the front in the straight and saw off the challenge of Portmore Lough by two and a half lengths.
“That’s definitely a career highlight and I grew up dreaming of these big days as a jockey,” said Brouder.
“I had a very bad concussion from a fall (from today’s runner-up Portmore Lough) at the Galway Festival (in July) and I was lucky to just get away with that.
“Today’s race panned out beautifully for him and it happened easily for him.”
My Sister Sarah provided Willie Mullins with a third straight victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cailin Alainn Mares Hurdle.
Paul Townend’s mount was the 2-5 favourite to follow in the hoofprints of Robin De Carlow and Listen Dear by claiming this Listed prize and ultimately got the job done with the minimum of fuss, coming home 10 lengths clear of stablemate Shanning.
“The cheek-pieces sharpened up her jumping early on. She got a horrible fall in Leopardstown last year and was brought down in Cheltenham so might have lost her confidence a bit,” said Townend.
“She was entitled to win today and I was impressed with her.”
Rank outsider Formal Order was a 40-1 winner of the Listed Bluegrass Horse Feed Novice Hurdle.
Sean Flanagan was hard at work from the home turn aboard Matthew Smith’s charge, but he responded generously on the run-in to get up by half a length from Fairyhill Run.
I told Sean going out not to worry about his price as I thought he beat two good horses the last day
Hot favourite Commandingpresence was in a narrow lead when crashing out at the final flight.
Smith said: “I missed what happened at the last, but Sean (Flanagan) said Bryan Cooper (on eventual runner-up Fairyhill Run) thought he had Rachael (Blackmore, on Commandingpresence) beaten. He (Formal Order) rallied well, stayed well and picked up well.
“I told Sean going out not to worry about his price as I thought he beat two good horses the last day.”
Flanagan doubled up in the following Patrickswell Maiden Hurdle, with Noel Meade’s Cask Mate making a successful return from 1,020 days on the sidelines.
The jockey went on to complete a treble aboard Henry de Bromhead’s Visioman in the Limerick Rated Chase. Flanagan was standing in for Rachael Blackmore, who was stood down after that fall in the first race.
“He jumped brilliant and Sean gave him a super ride – it is frustrating for Rachael, but is great for Sean and I’m delighted for the Halsalls (owners),” said De Bromhead.
Regarding Visioman, he added: “It was hard to believe going up the back straight that he could pick up the leader Djingle, but the pace they went, you’d always hope it might happen.
“Today was the plan for the moment and we’ll see what the handicapper thinks. We might give him a break and bring him back for the spring and he could be one for the Topham (at Aintree).”
Blackmore was one of several jockeys in the wars, with Jack Kennedy and Davy Russell both taken to hospital for precautionary x-rays on suspected collarbone and shoulder injuries respectively.