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Pick pips Headon in thrilling finish

The Ciaran Murphy-trained Michael's Pick got up in the dying strides to land the spoils in a dramatic finish to the Boardsmill Sires Hunters Chase at Downpatrick.

Long-time leader Handy Headon pecked at the back of the second last in the two-mile-seven contest and was passed at the final fence by 6/4 favourite Faith Loving.

The market leader wasn't that fluent though and the distress signals went out from him up the hill as Handy Headon wrestled back the lead in the closing stages.

Having worked so hard to get back in front though he was joined by the fast finishing Michael's Pick close home and that rival prevailed by a short-head, under Timmy Love, after a photo finish.

The winner had chased home Along Long Story in a similar contest at Thurles 10 days ago.

Dot Love, assistant trainer and grandmother of the winning rider, said afterwards: "For him the ground went better and better, it was really what he likes. He loves the top of the ground. He's not as fast as he thinks he is but it helped him a lot today.

"Timmy gave him some ride and he is a great jumper. It is lovely to come out on the right side of a photograph, it has often been the other way.

"He likes it here and he likes all that kind of cross-country stuff. He does everything, he is a natural.

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