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    Singing Banjo strikes the right notes at Punchestown
Singing Banjo strikes the right notes at Punchestown
Singing Banjo strikes the right notes at Punchestown. Source: attheraces.com

Singing Banjo strikes the right notes at Punchestown

Singing Banjo, an accomplished campaigner, emerged victorious in the Mongey Communications La Touche Cup Cross Country Chase at Punchestown for the second consecutive year.

The 14-year-old, who won the race in 2021 as part of a historic double that also included the Ladies Perpetual Cup, is a true expert around the bank course.

Although he has a wealth of other track form, he was started at a modest 28-1 for trainer and jockey Barry John Walsh because he was the oldest horse in the race and had strong competitors like Coko Beach in the field.

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. “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 ground 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.”

After a photo finish was needed to split the first two over the line, Noel Meade's Pinkerton won the Listed Frontline Security Handicap Chase.

Just over a week after scoring at Tipperary, the winner under Sam Ewing blasted off at 15-2 and prevailed by a short head in a field of 17.

“He came out of last week’s race great. I was 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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