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Big Race Treble for Irish Pointers

Big Race Treble for Irish Pointers

Irish point-to-point graduates claimed the feature races at all three of the principal national hunt fixtures on Saturday, with victories for Ball D’Arc, On Tour and Present Man.

Ball D’Arc began the day well for point-to-point graduates when he took his career earning past the quarter million-euro mark in the Grade 3 Poplar Chase at Naas.

The French-bred son of Network, a four-year-old maiden winner at Bellharbour for Pat Doyle, tracked the leader American Tom for much of the journey in the 2-mile contest, before being asked to challenge at the second-last by his rider Jack Kennedy.

Gordon Elliott’s charge got his head to the front approaching the last, and he stayed-on strongly up the run-in to pass the post five lengths in advance of Henry De Bromhead’s Ordinary World. 

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned winner, is still only a six-year-old but has now won a total of ten races including the valuable Dan Moore Memorial Chase at Fairyhouse last spring, and Ball D’Arc could now line-up in a Grade 1 contest, with connections eyeing up a potential tilt at the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown.

On Tour picked-up the biggest pot of his career as he stayed-on best of all to land the £75,000 Rugby Betting at 188Bet Handicap Chase, the feature race at Aintree.

Trained by Evan Williams, the Crocco Rouge gelding, a five-year-old maiden point-to-point winner at Stradbally for Liam Kenny, made striking headway approaching the second-last, having been held-up in rear throughout, to launch his bid late under Mitchell Bastyan.

The now nine-year-old, had chased Master Dee to the final fence, but as he landed running, the bay gelding soon overhauled Fergal O’Brien’s charge on the run-in, to claim the valuable contest on Merseyside by three lengths.

 Present Man concluded the big race successes for Irish Pointing graduates when landing the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton. 

Sharing the front-running role at numerous points along the journey in the 3m 1f contest, the Presenting gelding was sent to the front at fence 11 by Bryony Frost, and although strongly pressed from that point onwards by David Dennis’ Final Nudge, the seven-year-old had plenty in reserves to hold-on by a head in a thrilling conclusion to the Listed race.

A thoroughly consistent performer for Paul Nicholls, the bay gelding who finished second for Eoin Doyle in a Lemonfield four-year-old maiden, has now won seven of his last nine outings.

There were also victories for plenty of other former Irish Pointers including Next Destination, Kilbricken Storm, Play The Ace, Senor Lombardy and Oak Vintage.

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