• Horse Racing

Disappointment for local runners at Cheltenham

Tuesday, 16th March, 2010 5:02pm

Story by John Donohoe
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Disappointment for local runners at Cheltenham

Andrew lynch rode Sizing Europe to victory in the Arkle Chase.

There was disappointment on the opening day of the Cheltenham racing festival when Noel Meade's stable failed to pick up a £1 million bonus if Go Native completed a hat-trick of race wins with a Champion Hurdle victory. World Bet Exchange WBX.COM had offered the prize to the horse that won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, along with the Cheltenham hurdle.

Go Native and Paul Carberry started the 11-4 clear favourite but failed to make any impact, getting held up. JP McManus, Nicky Henderson and Tony McCoy took the race with Binocular. Carberry said afterwards that the horse dived after the second flight and just didn't feel right after that.

There was disappointment too for the Athboy connections of Dunguib, the favourite in the opening Supreme Novices Hurdle, co-owned by Rathmore native Lily Lawlor. Dunguib, the Irish 'hotpot' could only finish third to Menorah, trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson.

There was also bad news for Noel Meade when Casey Jones died after being brought down at the seventh fence in the William Hill Trophy Handicap Chase, breaking his neck.

The nine-year-old owned by Gillian Burke won six of his 20 races. Winner of a bumper and twice successful over hurdles, he achieved the most notable of his three wins over fences when landing the Grade 1 Knight Frank Novice Chase at Leopardstown in December 2008. He also won the Grade 3 Star Chase at Punchestown in October.

One bit of good news for Meath in Cheltenham on opening day was Ashbourne jockey Andrew Lynch's win on Sizing Europe in the Arkle Chase for Harry de Bromhead, who put in some spectacular leaps on his way to a 6-1 victory.

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