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Walsh relief as Paris Texas seals triumph


In clear: Mark Walsh and Paris Texas break away to win the opener at Downpatrick
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Paris Texas, trained by Joseph O'Brien for JP McManus, clinched success in the opener at Downpatrick.

Partnered by Mark Walsh, Paris Texas ran third for most of the race. A quartet held claims going towards the final flight before Paris Texas joined leader Silver Star and went clear to assert and open his account over hurdles.

Walsh said: "It was a poor enough race, he's rated 112 and got away with it. He has been showing plenty of form in his last few runs. It was a weak race and he got through it. That's his grade, he's 112 and hopefully he can go a bit higher."

McManus was denied a brace when Gentleman Duke was caught on the line and denied by a nose by the fast-finishing Jack Slade in the handicap chase.

Jack Slade, trained by Noel Meade, had Jonathan Moore onboard as stable jockey Sean Flanagan is currently sidelined.

Moore said: "I could see Barry's lad (Gentleman Duke) was idling up the hill and I probably caught him a little bit on the hop. I didn't get by him as easy as I thought I was going to."

Muroor, trained by Tom McCourt and partnered by Conor Maxwell, gained some consolation when winning the handicap hurdle.

A winner at the last meeting only to be disqualified when the jockey weighed in light, he challenged the front-running Bective Cave after the last to prevail.

McCourt said: "It was a bit of a sickener the last day. He loves these types of tracks. I was going to go to Tramore but he was after having two runs in a week so I said I would wait for this. He's getting it together a bit now. Hopefully we'll come back here next month. I'd say here suits him better with the stiff finish. It's a pity it's not two on the trot."

Roi du Dubai made all under Mark Bolger to claim the Giltspur Hurdle and repel the late challenge of the well-supported local hope The Jam Man.

The John McConnell-trained winner was supplementing success at Down Royal in June.

McConnell said: "He jumped left (early) and it's not really his track. We might go left-handed next time even though both of his wins have been at right-handed tracks.

"He got quite a bad injury in Bellewstown. He stood on the rail and the Chifney bridle slashed through his tongue and he cut about 80% of his tongue. He's a tough horse to come back from that."

Gordon Elliott, the leading trainer at the track, recorded success when Present In Court prevailed in a photo finish with champion jockey Davy Russell seen to excellent advantage.

Present In Court was only fourth with considerable ground to make up jumping at the last as Biddy The Boss appeared the likely winner only to be caught on the line.

Elliott said: "I thought he was beat. He was flat out."

Elliott doubled up when Caltex gave an outstanding display of jumping to land the beginners chase with Jack Kennedy onboard.

Elliott said: "He was entitled to do that on his Galway run. He is in at Doncaster Sales but I'm not sure whether he will go or not. We might hold onto him."

Champion trainer Willie Mullins was out of luck with his runners over hurdles earlier in the day, but enjoyed a winner when son Patrick partnered Royal Rendezvous to a wide margin success in the finale.

Belfast Telegraph

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In clear: Mark Walsh and Paris Texas break away to win the opener at Downpatrick