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Irish Pointers dominate with double on Classic card

Irish Pointers dominate with double on Classic card

Irish point-to-pointers dominated at Warwick on Saturday, with the features going the way of Beakstown and Impulsive Star.

The former had created a big impression when he made a winning debut in a Turtulla four-year-old maiden in November 2017, sent off as a well-supported even-money favourite for Andy Slattery, and duly obliging by three lengths.
 
Already a winner over hurdles following success at Uttoxeter in November, the now six-year-old had to bounce back from a narrow defeat in The French Furze Novices’ Hurdle before Christmas, and so was only sent off at a price of 6/1 for the Lemington Novices’ Hurdle on Saturday.
 
Dan Skelton’s charge tracked the leader throughout, before making a decisive move in the hands of the winning trainer’s brother Harry, which saw him steal the initiative before the home bend.
 
Staying-on best of all, the son of Stowaway returned three and three-quarter lengths clear of Stoney Mountain to win the Grade 2 prize.
 
 
Things got even better for point-to-point graduates 35 minutes later when the day’s feature race, the Classic Chase, went the way of Impulsive Star, the second former pointer to win the Grade 3 prize within the past three years.
 
Sean O’Brien’s Ballyarthur maiden winner, who had finished fourth in the National Hunt Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, got his head in front over racecourse fences for the first time with a gutsy victory in the £75,000 staying contest over the extended 3m 5f trip. 
 
The nine-year-old had been headed by the French-bred Calett Mad coming to the final fence, however a good leap over that obstacle saw him land running under Sam Waley-Cohen, and with a featherweight to carry, he picked-up well to win by three and a-quarter lengths for the Neil Mulholland yard.
 
“I’m delighted with him. He had a nice little pipe-opener round Plumpton the other day and obviously the winner of that race won earlier on,” said Mulholland when speaking to Racing TV following the success.
 
“We knew he’d improve for the run, he had a light weight on his back today and we felt he was on a nice mark. It all came together on the day.
 
“He ran well in the National Hunt Chase last year and obviously he’s still a novice, so that’s the plan again.
 
“He’ll have an entry in the Grand National, but the National Hunt Chase is his main target. I don’t know if we’ll run him again before Cheltenham or not. I’ll mull it over and talk with the owners, but he could do.”
 
Impulsive Star is now a 14/1 shot ahead of a second possible tilt at the four-mile race at Prestbury Park.
 
 
Earlier on the Warwick card, Derek O’Connor recorded an eye-catching success aboard Ok Corral, the horse that had beaten Impulsive Leader at Plumpton last month when the pair met. 
 
With a potential engagement in the National Hunt Chase for amateur riders at the Cheltenham Festival looming, O’Connor was called upon for the ride aboard the JP McManus-owned nine-year-old in the Listed three-mile novices’ chase.
 
A comfortable six-length success for Nicky Henderson’s charge over the Athlacca point winner, Secret Investor, has propelled Ok Corral and O’Connor to the top of the ante-post mark for the four-mile contest in March, as a general 3/1 shot. 
 

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