sport

Late scare for Riches

Road To Riches survived a late blunder to justify odds-on favouritism in the Cork Stayers Novice Hurdle.

The well-regarded Noel Meade five-year-old is unbeaten under Rules and was a 1-6 chance when winning his debut over hurdles at Punchestown last month, where he beat subsequent easy winner Pride Ofthe Parish.

Given a confident ride by Paul Carberry and last of the seven runners at halfway, the 2-5 market leader took closer order three out and jumped upsides Dushrembrandt at the second-last.

Going to the final flight on the bridle, Carberry's mount ploughed through it but the rider was able recover his poise and in the end cantered over the line to claim Grade Three honours.

Meade said: "Paul said he was a bit free early on and when he dropped him back he became almost too relaxed.

"It was a bit uncharacteristic to see him making a mistake. He got lit up beforehand when he was battling him.

"He did what we came here to do. He's a a chaser in the making for next season and now we know he stays three miles.

"The Dorans Pride Hurdle at Limerick might be a possibility. There's a race in Naas in January as well."

In-form trainer Henry de Bromhead produced Days Hotel to win the Hilly Way Chase on his first start for 385 days.

Two from two over fences but not seen since landing the Craddockstown Chase in November last year, the seven-year-old appeared on the scene after the third-last, where 11-8 favourite Blazing Tempo had just jumped it in front.

The latter soon faded, however, and Days Hotel (4-1) only had to safely negotiate the last to account for Realt Dubh.

An incident-packed Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Lombardstown Mares Novice Chase went the way of Great Oak.

Odds-on favourite Tarla (4-11) had taken it up five out under Ruby Walsh but spectacularly crashed out at the last, as did her closest pursuer Cnoc Seoda, who was a couple of lengths down at the time.

All that left Great Oak (14-) in splendid isolation to claim the Grade Three prize, with Our Girl Lucy second.

Winning trainer John Nicholson said: "They are there to be jumped. I would have been happy with third, but Christmas came early.

"I didn't enter her over Christmas as there aren't a lot of races for her. Today was the plan."