Rolly Bowley Boy denies well-backed rivals
Rolly Bowley Boy followed-up on an encouraging effort at Limerick last month, as he made virtually all in the Tipperary Handicap Hurdle.
Trained in Co Westmeath by Ciaran Murphy, the six-year-old had shown promise in maiden company and went down by just over four lengths when fifth on his handicap debut at Greenmount Park over the Christmas period.
Sent off an easy-to-back 11/2 chance this afternoon, the son of Carlotamix was sent straight to the front by Eoin Walsh.
Strongly pressed before two out, he was ridden and joined on the approach to the last, battling on gamely to regain the lead on the run-in, going on to prevail by three-parts of a length.
Sent off the well-backed favourite, West Breeze (9/2 early, returned 7/4) had to settle for second under Liam McKenna for Mick Winters. Not fluent at times, the market leader stepped at the last and lost some momentum.
The front-pair went 11 lengths clear of the Liz Lalor trained Carrigeen Konini in third, with this one also well-backed from 18s to 13/2.
"He is a lovely horse but has been a tricky customer all along," Murphy said.
Eoin has been riding him all along and has done a super job with him. I'm delighted with that as he has been tricky.
"He'll have something like this in mind again soon and could also go for a beginners' chase for lower rated horses. Fences will probably be his thing and he seems to go on that ground.
"This is the owners' (the Artan Gale Syndicate) first horse with me and they're a three-member ground, headed by Brendan Egan, from Tullamore and this is a great thrill."
Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes