Shamiran wins gruelling opener at Punchestown25/04/2012 - 17:35:30
Shamiran got the better of British raider Weekend Millionair in a gruelling opening race as Punchestown’s depleted all hurdles and bumper card got under way in difficult conditions.
The two principals were always to the fore as no other horse really got into the Martinstown Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle over two and a half miles.
Tom Bellamy tried to make all the running on the David Pipe-trained Weekend Millionair, but he was accompanied all the way by Shamiran (12-1) in the hands of Ian McCarthy.
Shamiran took it up just before the final flight and pulled away to score by two and three-quarter lengths for County Kildare trainer Stephen Nolan. Streets Of Newyork was third just ahead of Beau Michael.
“I think conditions are perfectly safe. The horses are getting through it,” McCarthy told At The Races.
“Six or seven of us lined up to make it. My lad took a bit of a tug going to the first and I jumped to the front. I was able to steady it up everywhere I need to and suit myself.
“He’s a tough little horse. We were going into the unknown up to two and a half and in these conditions.
“In fairness he battled and galloped all the way to the line.
“There are a few puddles here and there, but they are getting through it and my horse came fresh enough out of it.”
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