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Listowel

  • 16:05 Guinness Kerry National Handicap Chase 3m

  • (Grade A) €160,000 added 4yo+ 18 ran
  • Winner €96,400 2nd €30,800 3rd €14,800 4th €5,200
  • Going: Heavy (Soft to Heavy in places)
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 15.70s
  • Off time: 16:05:07

Fullback strikes in National

One-two for McNamara in valuable handicap

Last Updated: 19/09/12 4:56pm

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Faltering Fullback: Shock winner of the Kerry National on Wednesday

Faltering Fullback: Shock winner of the Kerry National on Wednesday

Faltering Fullback, the outsider of the field, won the Guinness Kerry National Handicap Chase at Listowel.

The nine year old led home a one-two for trainer Eric McNamara with better fancied stablemate Questions Answered in second ahead of Start Me Up and Jamsie Hall.

Faltering Fullback was a 33-1 outsider having failed to show much in promise in recent starts, while his last win was just over three years ago.

He was also only second reserve in the maximum 18-runner field, but got his chance when Save My Blushes was declared a non-runner and first reserve Shabra Charity did not take up the invitation.

Leading fancies Caduceus and Premier Dane were no longer with the field as they set out on the final circuit in the three mile contest with Whodoyouthink at the head of affairs as he had been throughout.

Oliver McKiernan's charge looked sure to play a hand in the finish when building his advantage to around eight lengths with just four fences to jump but he came to grief at that obstacle changing the complexion of the race completely.

Out Of The Blue

Wellforth was left in front but the challengers were stacking up on the home turn and it was Danny Mullins' mount who proved the strongest, sprinting clear to record a five and a half length success.

McNamara said: "Before the race I thought Questions Answered had a really good chance and I really fancied him. He ran a fabulous race to finish second.

"That was a bit out of the blue in fairness and Faltering Fullback came back to what he once promised.

"He won a novice chase here before and was a very good horse but just lost his way. The three miles and bottom weight just helped him and he came back to form at the right time.

Great Race

"It's been a great race for me. We won it twice with Ponmeoath and he was back today.

"This is his sixth run in the Kerry National and his ninth year to run here which is a great achievement. He didn't run a bad race (in eighth)."

Mullins said: "Eric gave me very simple instructions, he just told me to jump off and do whatever makes the horse happy.

"He travelled sweetly the whole way, jumped great and just kept galloping.

"I felt I had a a good chance when the the horse in front (Whodoyouthink) fell.

"I knew I was travelling well then and I just wanted to hold on for a bit more.

"This would be my biggest win over jumps and I'm delighted Eric gave me the ride, it was very good of him."

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