By Dan Walsh at Betyville Park
2022 Aintree Grand National winner Noble Yeats turned up at Wexford races this afternoon and following a flawless victory in the track’s only Listed Race – the MW Hickey Memorial Chase – Paddy Power has slashed his odds from 16’s to 12/1 favourite to win the Aintree spectacle for a second time in April 2023.
Robert Waley-Cohen’s seven-year-old trained at Bagenalstown by Emmet Mullins, put in a foot-perfect round of jumping in the testing ground under Sean Bowen and was given a rousing reception passing the winning post.
Trainer Emmet Mullins said: “That was a joy to watch. There weren’t many anxious moments, everything went to plan.
It was a great promotion for Wexford races on their final race day of season and the MW Hickey Memorial Chase is now a proven test of ability with Minella Indo (2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup) and Aintree National winner Noble Yeats both having won over the Bettyville course.
There was an excellent Wexford trained winner of the Michael Moore Beginners Chase in Impervious (13/8 fav) ridden by Brian Hayes for Colm Murphy of Killenagh, Gorey.
Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy combined to win the opening maiden hurdle with Imagine (10/11 fav) and the John P McManus owned One Last Tango, (2/1 fav) trained by Eoin Griffin at Slieverue, Co. Kilkenny and ridden by Mark Walsh had five lengths to spare at the end of the novice hurdle.
Davy Russell and Henry de Bromhead won the Peter Nolan Bloodstock Maiden Hurdle with Harry Des Ongrais beating Drumderry Harlem in the colours of the Drumderry Racing Syndicate (Bunclody), trained by Mark Scallan at Cleariestown and ridden by Tiernan Power Roche from Tomhaggard.
Barry Connell owns and trains Good Land (7/4) who was an impressive winner of the bumper.
Val O’Connell retired after about 12 years of Clerk of the Course at Wexford and there was a race named in his honour and he was congratulated and thanked for his contribution to the improvements to the track during his tenure and presentations were made.
Sunday and Monday were two good day’s of festival racing at Bettyville Park, the ground was heavy, but fortunately, the dreadful forecast was lenient during the racing and a good attendance on both days. The next fixture at Wexford races is on Sunday, March 5th 2023.
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