Drop The Anchor (left) on his way to winning the November Handicap at Naas (Brian Lawless/PA)
06 November 2022

Anchor grabs narrow verdict in thrilling Naas finish

06 November 2022

Pat Fahy was thrilled to see Drop The Anchor get his career back on track with a last-gasp victory in the Colm White Bookmaker November Handicap at Naas.

The JP McManus-owned eight-year-old had failed to get his head in front in 10 starts since landing a valuable handicap hurdle at the 2021 Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown and had finished well beaten in three Flat starts this autumn.

But under a cool ride by Niall McCullagh in testing conditions, Drop The Anchor showed his true colours in getting up late to deny My Mate Mozzie and Powerful Aggie by a neck and the same.

“He was tough, it’s great that he came back to himself as he was struggling to get his form back,” said Fahy.

“He was running well but not getting anywhere and a lot of my horses were doing the same. That kind of makes up for the whole summer because I had very few horses to run.

“Between one thing and another it was quiet and to get this last big handicap, I can’t believe it. He ground it out well.”

There was an even closer finish to the Listed Finale Stakes, with Dermot Weld’s 13-8 joint-favourite Duke De Sessa pipping Sunchart by a short head under Chris Hayes.

Weld said: “It was a very good performance from a three-year-old under top-weight. The second horse is a five-year-old and as Chris said, it’s November ground.

“He’s performed well all year, he was fifth in the Guineas and has been on the go since April. He’s a tough horse.

“He ran a very good race last time and was a bit unlucky not to win in France – he was only beaten a nose and half a length and came from way off it.

“He deserved to go out with a big win again and he’s done us proud during the year. He’s a multiple Group winner and we’ll look to be having a very major campaign with him next year. He’ll be doing a bit of travelling.”

Yudish Geerdharry enjoyed a red-letter day as he rode his first winner aboard Wave Machine in the prestigious Birdcatcher Nursery.

Trained by Johnny Murtagh, the 9-1 shot came home a length and three-quarters clear in the hands of 10lb claimer Geerdharry.

Murtagh said: “It’s a first winner for Yudish, he’s a very good young lad. I have two young lads Michael Beresford and Yudish and they are watching Jamie (Powell) and they are coming along in leaps and bounds. Hopefully you’re going to see a lot more of them over the winter months.

“He had a very good draw and I said to him to be patient and wait for the gaps and when they come don’t go too soon. He rode to perfection.”

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