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Innisfree Beauty denies Elliott across the card five timer

Innisfree Beauty battled back on the run-in to deny Gordon Elliott an across the card five timer in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Handicap Hurdle at Sligo.

Having won the first two races at Sligo and Perth respectively, Elliott was seeking a fifth success of the afternoon.

His representative in this race Hophornbeam came with a strong challenge after jumping the final flight but just couldn't repel the late rally of the winner. Incidentally, the runner-up used to be trained by Ciaran Murphy until very recently.

The Ciaran Murphy trained mare had shown a glimmer of ability in maiden company but needed to step up on recent runs in order to be competitive here. To her credit, she did just that, landing some nice bets in the process.

Ciaran Murphy said; “Her form hadn’t been too bad, it just sort of petered out but she did have a great run in Thurles one day over this sort of trip.

“We said we’d let her come here fresh and have a good go from the front and Mark was very good on her. She was tough and she stays that trip well and probably would get a little bit further. He said he couldn’t pull her up afterwards.

“There’s a nice race for her in Cork in three weeks time, a mares’ handicap with topweight rated 95, although it depends on what the handicapper does.

“She’s a half-sister to Galvin so she’s a lovely broodmare prospect. Hopefully we’ll win another one with her and she’ll jump a fence too which is exciting.”

Additional reporting by Mark Nunan

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