Dromore Lad springs shock in Cork National

Dromore Lad caused an upset when winning for the first time over fences in the Paddy Power Cork Grand National Handicap Chase.

Trained by John Ryan, the eight-year-old had not won a race of any description since January 2018 in his days with Dermot McLoughlin.

Having run well on his first outing over fences for Ryan when second at Ballinrobe, he was well beaten last time out at Galway just last weekend – so it was no surprise he went off at 40-1.

Sean O’Keeffe, who loses his claim as a result of the win, was always travelling smoothly on the outsider – and a big leap at the last sent him clear to beat Rocky’s Silver by nine lengths.

Ryan said: “I love that little horse – he is a cracker and is so tough.

“He had a lovely mark and he is just a dour, dour stayer. He wants four miles, goes on heavy, is by Flemensfirth and is as tough as nails.

“There is a three-mile-five handicap chase now, and he could also go for the Welsh National over Christmas.

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“I’m delighted for Frank Reynolds (owner) – who has had a lot of winners, but that is his first big winner.

“That’s Sean’s first National winner, and he has also ridden out his claim with that win. It’s a grand way to lose his claim!”

Earlier, Joseph O’Brien’s Home By The Sea (13-2) stayed on powerfully to win the Grade Three Paddy Power From The Horses Mouth Podcast EBF Novice Chase.

Having looked beaten when outpaced between the third and second last, JJ Slevin galvanised him to beat Ryan’s Waitnsee by a length and three-quarters.

Slevin said: “It was a big ask, having had just one run over fences, and he jumped fairly well but got under one or two. He stays very well and is a lovely horse.

“I needed a good jump at the last but didn’t get a wonderful jump, but he managed to get away from it well and plugged on to the line.”

Darrens Hope (5-2) provided trainer Robert Murphy with his biggest win in the Listed Paddy’s Rewards Club EBF Novice Hurdle.

The mare made all under Paul Townend to beat Gordon Elliott’s Ragnar Lodbrok

“She won very well and is an exciting mare to have,” said Murphy.

“This race came up sooner than we wanted, and it was only two weeks since she ran. We didn’t want to run her so soon.

“She is a great mare to stay, and the farther she goes the better she’d like it.

“We might go for a beginners’, because chasing will be her game, but there might be another novice race for her. We’ll see what happens, and I’ll see what the jockey says.

“This is my biggest win.”

The prolific Dreal Deal yet again cruised to victory, this time in the WhatOddsPaddy Handicap Hurdle.

Successful just four days ago under a confident Maxine O’Sullivan, this time she kicked for home a little earlier and Ronan McNally’s star won like a 1-5 favourite should.

McNally said: “I wouldn’t rule out running him in a Grade One at Christmas, but I want to give him a break now, and he is going for six weeks’ rest. He is in a Pertemps Qualifier at Newbury on Thursday, but we won’t go.

“I haven’t made a secret that I’d love to see JP McManus come on board the yard, and a horse like him would be ideal. To train for JP McManus would be a dream – and if the right money and the right owner came along, I’d consider selling him to stay in the yard.”

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