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Noble Crusade in charge under O'Connor

Noble Crusade and connectionsNoble Crusade and connections
© Photo Healy Racing

Noble Crusade reeled in long-time leader Itsalonglongroad and swept home to readily win the first division of the Kenmare Handicap at Killarney.

The top weight (10st1lb) moved kindly in third with Donagh O'Connor in the plate and improved to challenge in the final two furlongs.

Itsalonglongroad gave best approaching the final furlong as a full of running Noble Crusade picked it up and soon bounded clear.

He was able to coast home as he pleased in the cloisng stages to win by a reduced margin of two lengths at 4/1. Mr Mills came in second at 8/1 and was three quarters of a length in front of Astrophysicist Itsalonglongroad, the 2/1 favourite, weakened to fifth.

Winning-trainer John McConnell said: "The owners have been very patient and it took me a while to get the hang of him but he ran well the other day. It was just a case of whether or not he would back it up but because he was going up 2lbs, we felt we had to have a go as he was out of the 45-65 bracket after today.

"He wouldn't be a Dundalk horse, he likes a cut in the ground and will go hurdling now.

"The owners, publicans including Askeaton publican Josh Sheahan, have been great."

Additional reporting by Tom Weekes

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About Michael Graham
Michael has worked in horse racing journalism for more than 15 years, having also written a weekly betting column on Gaelic football and hurling for a newspaper. He is involved in writing the My Racing Story features on this website. He spent a year in South Africa completing a Diploma in Business Administration and also studied Newspaper Journalism in Belfast. He enjoys playing 5-a-side football on a regular basis.