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Report | Turtulla 18th November 2018

In the opening Tattersalls Cheltenham & Ascot Sales four-year-old maiden newcomer Shan Blue created a hugely-favourable impression by coming home as he pleased to initiate a double for handler Andy Slattery and rider Roger Quinlan, also successful with last weekend's Uttoxeter maiden hurdle winner Beakstown in this same event 12 months ago.

Shan Blue always travelled with purpose in third spot as Hurricane Bob cut out the running from Murphy's Law. There was only going to one outcome once the victorious market leader picked up the running on the outer before four-out and a penultimate fence blunder didn't make the slightest difference as he accounted for main market-rival Hurling Magic by a comprehensive one and three quarter lengths.

"He seems like a speed horse to me and he goes on any ground,” said handler Slattery of Shan Blue, a son of Shantou out of the dual track winner Lady Roberta whom connections acquired for €13, 000 as a foal.

A disappointing turn out of just two participants went to post in the Local Trainers & Quinlan Transport Mares’ winner of two and The Crafty Touch completed a double for Andy Slattery and Roger Quinlan, by getting the better of rival Cubanera.

The Crafty Touch mastered Cubanera from two-out except that last month's Moira mares' maiden winner then gave her supporters near heart palpitations by erring at the last. Quinlan sat tight though as The Crafty Touch forged clear to oblige by four lengths in the silks of farrier Dan Breen.

Slattery said: "She was entitled to win here and she would be a nice mare to go hurdling with next summer."

Myrons provided handler Pat Doyle with the opening leg of a brace in the The Tipperary Cheese Company & Templetuohy Foods five-year-old geldings’ maiden by going one better than he did on his first start for present connections at Moig South two weeks earlier, by giving an accomplished round of fencing to win going away under talented claimer Evan Dwan.

The towering gelding made smooth progress to hit the front setting out on the final circuit and he was always possessing too many aces for runner-up Ran Rite from two-out, with four lengths being the ultimate winning margin.

"He's a fine big horse that just needed a summer's grass to mature. Evan gave him a fabulous ride and he's a horse that likes good ground. I'd imagine that he will now go for a winners’ race," said Doyle of his wife Mary's Myrons.

The final two fences were omitted for the last two races due to the low-lying sun which meant that just nine out of the 15 fences had to be jumped. Samanntom brought up the concluding leg of a two-timer for Pat Doyle in the Lorcan O’Riordan Farrier, Mattie & Philip Maher open for novice riders.

Indeed, Doyle will have attained immense satisfaction from the chestnut’s victory as the gelding was providing the Suirview Stables handler's 19-year-old daughter Susie with her very first success. The 11-year-old was bounced out in front and the former four-time track winner stormed clear between the final two fences to dismiss favourite Cloudy Morning by 12 lengths in the fastest run race of the day.

Handler Doyle was understandably elated, the locally-based handler said: "It was brilliant for Susie to win here today and she is a star girl. She rides out at home for us whenever she is around, she is in her second year studying marketing in Cork and also rides out for Robert Tyner."

The Peter Croke-trained Humps And Bumps put this year's hurdling experience to good use in the Ballinroe Transport & Gain Horse Feeds five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden by making a winning points debut to credit 21-year-old Cian Cullinan from Gorey with a second career success.

Humps And Bumps, who was placed fifth in a Tramore maiden hurdle in June, was left at the head of affairs when the front running Bluebell Sally fell four-out. The mare then stayed on stoutly to defeat newcomer Some Bite by three lengths in the colours of Co Wicklow-based breeder Maurice Sheehy.

"She's a mare with a good pedigree and we will bring her home now and come up with a plan," said Croke of the five-year-old.

The concluding Dew Valley & Centenary Agri six-year-old and upwards maiden went the way of the Terence O'Brien-trained 11-year-old Overbury Prince attained a due reward, having finished second no less than six times previously, by gamely justifying favouritism in this closing contest.

The gelding always took the eye in running with Darragh Allen and the relatively lightly-raced ex-track performer moved through to hit the front under pressure a furlong out, en-route to accounting for the front running Mustmeetforapint by a length in what was the closest finish of the afternoon.

In O'Brien's absence, joint-owner Tomas Ahern hinted that Overbury Prince may now revert to hurdling or else that he will be tried in hunter chase company.

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