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Singing Banjo hits the right notes at Punchestown

Singing Banjo hits the right notes at Punchestown
Singing Banjo hits the right notes at Punchestown

Veteran campaigner Singing Banjo came to the fore to take the Mongey Communications La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase at Punchestown for the second time.

The 14-year-old is a veritable specialist around the banks course, having won the race in 2021 as part of a famous double that also included the Ladies Perpetual Cup.

He has plenty of other form around the track, too, but as the oldest horse in the race and with highly-rated rivals like Coko Beach in the field, he started at modest odds of 28-1 for trainer and jockey Barry John Walsh.

His experience served him well, however, and after locking horns with Coko Beach and Three By Two he stayed on best of all triumph by three-quarters of a length.

“He just stays galloping all day, he needs a trip,” said Walsh, for whom the success was his first as a trainer.

Barry Walsh and Singing Banjo
Barry Walsh and Singing Banjo (Brian Lawless/PA)

“He got hampered a little bit at the old double, it wasn’t ideal but he was hard and finished out strong.

“He loves the banks and we aim him for these races the whole time. The ground was just against us all season, he wants good ground.

“He won on firm here when taking the Ladies Cup and La Touche in one week. I was delighted to see it drying a bit here yesterday.

“He’s lightly-raced and we’ll see how he comes out of this. He’s declared for Saturday and we’ll see tomorrow how he is.

“We’d be hoping to get another season out of him for the cross-country, maybe at Cheltenham if the ground comes up good.”

The Listed Frontline Security Handicap Chase went the way of Noel Meade’s Pinkerton after a photo finish was required to split the first two over the line.

The winner went off at 15-2 under Sam Ewing and came out on top in a field of 17, prevailing by a short head just over a week after scoring at Tipperary.

“He came out of last week’s race great. I was a disappointed he didn’t win a bit easier there as it was a very ordinary contest, he struggled a bit and was maybe in front a bit long,” said Meade.

“Today when he went to the front he wandered a bit going to the last.

“It’s great for the owners to win here, he’s been a super little horse for them.

“He’s tough and the jockey is very good, he’s very strong.

“He mightn’t go on real quick ground, he wants an ease, but we’ll carry on for the moment and see how we go.”

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