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Ferns Lock rules supreme once again at Thurles

Ferns Lock justified his position as the top of the betting as he ran out a dominant winner to claim back-to-back renewals of the Carey Glass Hunters Chase at Thurles.
Immediately sent to the front by Barry O’Neill, who had been riding at Ballycrystal earlier in the afternoon, the seven-year-old raced enthusiastically through the early stages as he steadily extended his advantage to race clear of the field.
His chief market rivals Romeo Magico and Wowsham were never too far away as they were positioned in the first half dozen throughout, but none of the favourite’s nine rivals ever managed to get into a challenging position.
The reigning champion was able to get a breather into his mount exiting the back straight, which did allow that pair of challenging rivals to briefly close on him, as at one point Romeo Magico did close to within a length approaching the third-last fence.
However Ferns Lock’s superior jumping proved to be a key asset as he was quicker over the two fences along the side of the track which allowed him to re-establish a clear advantage for himself, such that when O’Neill had a long look over his left shoulder on the long run to the final fence, he could see that the pair were well in command.
In the end, eight lengths separated the Ray Nicholas-owned son of Telescope from his year younger rival Romeo Magico, with a further five and a half lengths back to Wowsham in third.
Following the success, with the victorious Fermanagh-based handler said that he felt there is still more to come from Fern's Lock, who is still very immature and learning all the time, with the Cheltenham festival the goal.



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