Shanpallas just came out on top in an epic battle with Tom Horn to give owner JP McManus a one-two in the Ladbrokes Munster National at Limerick.
Trained by Charles Byrnes and ridden by Davy Russell, Shanpallas looked to have plenty to do with half a mile to run as Paul Carberry made a bid for home on Noel Meade’s Tom Horn.
Carberry gave his mount a breather which allowed Shanpallas and Meade’s Bose Ikard, ridden by Ruby Walsh, to close right up. When Tom Horn kicked clear again he looked as if he might hold on, but as his stride shortened Shanpallas (7-1) took advantage to claim the 60,000 euro first prize by three-quarters of a length, with Bose Ikard not far back in third.
By finishing only third, Walsh brought to an end a run of four successive wins since his return from injury last weekend.
Byrnes said: “It’s my first winner for JP, he only bought the horse two and a half weeks ago and his previous owners are all here, they are delighted. He needs good ground so his options are limited, but it’s job done today.”
El Salvador gave Donnacha O’Brien a landmark big-race success in the Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh. The younger brother of Joseph O’Brien, the 16-year-old had only ridden his first winner last month but defied his inexperience with a fine ride on his father Aidan’s five-year-old, running in the colours of his mother, Anne-Marie.
Burdened with top-weight, O’Brien’s 7lb claim proved invaluable as Hidden Universe and Pat Smullen pressed hard through the final furlong.
El Salvador found plenty for pressure, however, and saw it out for a length success at 25-1. Marchese Marconi was third, with Asbury Boss fourth.
The curtain came down on the season at the Curragh as Luca Cumani’s Newmarket raider Second Step claimed the Listed Finale Stakes.
It was a brave performance from Andrea Atzeni’s mount (13-2) who got up to win by half a length from Chance To Dance.
Meanwhile Orphee Des Blins won the Velka Pardubicka for the third year in a row at Pardubice racecourse in the Czech Republic. In a typically chaotic renewal of the famous cross-country race, the 12-year-old mare once again showed there is no substitute for experience in a race of this nature.
Ridden like she had been for her two previous wins by Jan Faltejsek, formerly based in Britain with George Charlton in Northumberland, the winner made just about every yard of the four-and-a-quarter-mile trip.
Lambro, sent over by Charlie Mann to be the only runner to represent Britain, was badly hampered twice early on and despite working his way into contention a mistake at a water jump put paid to his chances and he could not emulate the exploits of Its A Snip, on whom Mann won in 1995.
The biggest danger to Orphee Des Blins were the countless loose horses which she encountered at various stages in the race.
Despite a dozen or so still being in with a chance with half a mile to run, Orphee Des Blins went clear approaching the last, although Al Jaz came with a late run and the pair had a great battle in the last 100 yards.